Practical medical ethics symposium: Rationing responsibly in an age of austerity.
Health professionals face ever expanding possibilities for medical treatment, increasing patient expectations and at the same time intense pressures to reduce healthcare costs. This leads frequently to conflicts between obligations to current patients, and others who might benefit from treatment. Is it ethical for doctors and other health professionals to engage in bedside rationing? What ethical principles should guide decisions (for example about which patients to offer intensive care admission or surgery)? Is it discriminatory to take into account disability in allocating resources? If patients are responsible for their illness, should that lead to a lower priority for treatment? In this seminar philosophers from the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics will explore and shed light on the profound ethical challenges around allocating limited health care resources.