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Ethical dilemmas for general practitioners under the UK new contract.
  1. L F Smith,
  2. J R Morrissy
  1. University of Western Ontario, Canada.


    Possible distributive justice frameworks for providing health care by general practitioners are discussed. The ethical considerations before and after the recent changes to the British National Health Service are contrasted, with particular emphasis on a possible ethical divide that has been produced between fund-holding and non-fund-holding general practitioners. It is argued that general practitioners in non-fund-holding practices can continue as ethical advocates for their patients and distribute health care within an egalitarian framework. However, those in fund-holding practices may now be seen as interest advocates and may have to practise utilitarian distributive justice. Patient groups may be needed to ensure that these general practitioners are seen to act justly in the distribution of the health care resources for which they are now responsible.

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