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Proceedings Paper

Some ethical issues in technology transfer and applications
Author(s): Kenneth I. Shine
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Paper Abstract

Health care systems all around the world are struggling to provide care in an era of limited resources. In an article entitled, 'Straight Talk About Rationing,' Arthur Kaplan reviews the work of the Swedish Commission designed to prioritize health care for that country. The commission identified three core principles that they felt should underlie decisions about priorities for health care. Those principles were (1) all human beings are equally valuable; (2) society must pay special attention to the needs of the weakest and most vulnerable; and (3) all other things being equal, cost efficiency in gaining the greatest return for the amount of money spent must prevail. These are three extremely useful principles which can be helpful to us as we consider many of the issues confronted in this country about the allocation of resources for health. I would like to consider three major issues. The first issue is the current evolving nature of health care and the ethical dilemmas that exist in the present system. In balancing increased access to care with decreasing cost, particularly in managed care, all of us are concerned about ethical issues. I would like to emphasize that the current system -- the system that we have lived with and is changing -- has inherent in it a series of ethical dilemmas. Secondly, I would like to consider issues related to productivity and its measurement in relation to technology. This relates to the third item in the Swedish Commission, which is the principle that we ought to spend money in the most cost-efficient way. Finally, I would like to discuss the dilemma of decision making about health and how that impacts upon the ethics of health care in the application of technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 October 1995
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2499, Health Care Technology Policy II: The Role of Technology in the Cost of Health Care: Providing the Solutions, (27 October 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.225329
Show Author Affiliations
Kenneth I. Shine, National Academy of Sciences (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2499:
Health Care Technology Policy II: The Role of Technology in the Cost of Health Care: Providing the Solutions
Warren S. Grundfest, Editor(s)

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