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Teaching medical students about fair distribution of healthcare resources
  1. C Leget1,
  2. R Hoedemaekers2
  1. 1
    Department of Ethics, Philosophy and History of Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  2. 2
    Department of Ethics, Philosophy and History of Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  1. Carlo Leget, Department of Ethics, Philosophy and History of Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, 137 EFG, PO Box 9101, NL-6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands; c.leget{at}efg.umcn.nl

Abstract

Healthcare package decisions are complex. Different judgements about effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and disease burden influence the decision-making process. Moreover, different concepts of justice generate different ideas about fair distribution of healthcare resources. This paper presents a decision model that is used in medical school in order to familiarise medical students with the different concepts of justice and the ethical dimension of making concrete choices. The model is based on the four-stage decision model developed in the Netherlands by the Dunning Committee and the discussion that followed its presentation in 1991. Having to deal with 10 medical services, students working with the model learn to discern and integrate four different ideas of distributive justice that are integrated in a flow chart: libertarian, communitarian, egalitarian and utilitarian.

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None.

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