What ethical dilemmas might be associated with the rationing of healthcare services and how could they be effectively addressed?
Ethics and Organ Transplantation

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The rationing of scarce healthcare resources is a subject that is both politically sensitive and raises a number of ethical dilemmas for those charged with making treatment decisions. The ethical dilemma is health care is how to balance the precepts of autonomy, beneficence, and distributive justice. Rationing may affect 3 dimensions of coverage: the share of the population covered; the services covered; and the extent to which services are covered (Teutsch & Rechel, 2012). The U.S. spends 50% more per capita on health care than any other country while achieving worse health than many (Teutsch & Rechel, 2012). Poorly coordinated insurance mechanisms leave 19% of the population uninsured (Teutsch & Rechel, 2012). Until passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in 2010, health care was effectively a privilege, not a right (Teutsch & Rechel, 2012). While PPACA seeks to rectify this, by 2019 five percent of non-elderly U.S. residents will likely remain uninsured (Tuetsch & Rechel, 2012). There are some who believe the U.S. healthcare system is broken and in desperate need of a radical change—the very change that the passage of the ACA represents. It could be argued that the ACA will only worsen the rationing of healthcare services in the United States. What is your position on this matter? Is the rationing of healthcare a bad thing or a necessary action? What ethical dilemmas might be associated with the rationing of healthcare services and how could they be effectively addressed? Please support your positions/arguments with credible evidence.


 

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