Whose Health Should Be Given Priority? Ethical Valuation of Swedish Pharmaceuticals
The official guidelines in health care state that a more severely ill patient should be prioritized over a less severely ill patient, but it is still debatable how much more care and resources should be allocated to this patient. The aim of this study is to address this issue. This is done through a web survey, where the social values people hold for helping patients with different levels of severity of illness are obtained. Severity of illness is measured both in terms of pain and immobility, and respondents’ values are investigated through two different types of perspectives; a patient’s perspective and a decision-maker’s perspective. The results show that individuals are equally risk averse as inequality averse against high levels of pain and immobility, and that helping patients with a severe condition is valued twice as much as helping patients with a less severe condition.