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Publish or be damned: Individual Funding Requests and the publicity condition


Many jurisdictions have processes to consider Individual Funding Requests but, with few exceptions, the decisions made with respect to these are not made public. Drawing upon Daniels and Sabin's account of the requirements of procedural justice, Accountability for Reasonableness, this paper considers several arguments for and against publishing individual funding request decisions. After briefly reviewing the case for publicity as a requirement of procedural justice and canvassing several arguments against publicity, we consider whether patient confidentiality justifies suppressing funding decisions. We claim that, with one possible exception, publication of individual funding request decisions does not raise concerns that are different in kind from those that apply to publication of legal judgments relating to healthcare, and that the protections instituted in that setting should be sufficient to allow publication of funding decisions. The discussion concludes with several cautionary notes.

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