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How to avoid unfair discrimination against disabled patients in healthcare resource allocation
  1. Sean Sinclair
  1. ARL Health, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Sean Sinclair, ARL Health, 48 Echline Drive, South Queensferry, Edinburgh EH30 9UY, UK; sean.sinclair{at}


The paper proposes a new method of researching public opinion for the purposes of valuing the outcomes of healthcare interventions. The issue I address is that, under the quality-adjusted life-year system, disabled patients face a higher cost-effectiveness hurdle than able-bodied patients. This seems inequitable. The author considers the alternative approaches to valuing healthcare interventions that have been proposed, and shows that all of them face the same problem. It is proposed that to value an outcome, instead of researching the general public, the population that is to be targeted with the intervention should be researched.

  • Allocation of healthcare resources
  • cost-effectiveness
  • disability
  • discrimination
  • equality
  • health economics
  • health technology assessment
  • healthcare economics
  • healthcare resource allocation
  • NICE
  • philosophical ethics
  • QALY
  • quality of life
  • quality/value of life/personhood
  • value

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  • Competing interests SCS conducts market research and opinion research for pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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