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Christopher Newdick, Oxford: Published by Oxford University Press, 2005, £24.99 (paperback), ISBN 0-19926-417-1 (hardback). 0-19092-641-8-X (paperback)
When the first edition of the book Who should we treat? Rights, rationing and resources in the NHS was published in 1995, it immediately became the standard reference on the law of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. Given the pace and complexity of the almost continuous series of reforms of the NHS, this would have given the book a short shelf life. However, it was also a very important survey of the problem of rationing and resource allocation considered from a lawyer’s point of view. It described resource allocation as a problem in the reasonable and legally accountable administration of a set of public bodies, rather than as a problem in clinical medicine, economics or moral philosophy. As such it …