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A Typology of Cost-Benefit Analyses in the Health Care Sector

  • P. Joglekar
  • M. L. Paterson
Chapter
  • 49 Downloads
Part of the Gesundheitssystemforschung book series (GESUNDHEITSSYST)

Abstract

Human life is priceless. Our system of values dictates that no expense or effort be spared to prevent or cure a disease or to save a life. Individually and collectively we devote enormous resources to the fight against illness and death. For example, a heart transplant costs approximately U.S. $100 000 (Time, 1984); kidney dialysis costs U.S. $ 28 000 per patient per year (Business Week, 1984). In 1983, health care costs consumed 10.8% of the gross national product of the United States (Business Week, 1984). Today these staggering figures are forcing us to consider the possibility that we may be very close to the point (if we have not already passed it) of spending all we can or should on health. For if life is priceless, so are national security and freedom; if good health is valuable, so are other things, such as human dignity, morality, education, work, and leisure. Yet our resources are finite, and rarely does a program lead to maximal fulfillment of all human desires simultaneously. Invariably, extended pursuit of one human goal compromises the pursuit of others. Thus by design or default, we trade off one need against another, and sometimes a human life against other needs.

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References

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Joglekar
  • M. L. Paterson

There are no affiliations available

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