Should Surgery Be Rationed for the Elderly on Cost-Effectiveness Grounds?

  • Mark Roberts


We live in a world in which health care costs continue to rise, even as society’s willingness to pay those costs does not. As a result, the issue of how to limit health care expenditures is becoming increasingly salient and controversial. The suggestion has sometimes been made that one way to limit costs would be to limit care for the elderly. Such “age rationing” is often justified by the argument that care for the aged yields less benefit than care for the young. Sometimes the claim is made that such care is less likely to be successful because older people’s underlying health status is often compromised by comorbidity. Alternatively, some contend that, even if successful, care for the elderly yields less benefit than care for the young, because older individuals’ life expectancy is less.


Health Care Cost Adverse Selection Saving Account Aged Yield Moral Power 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Roberts

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