The Ethics of Health Care Rationing

Book cover

Rationing in health care sounds like a terrible idea. But in fact it is not only inevitable and necessary, it can actually be good for you. So if you are worried about “death panels” or just want to understand the ethical issues of allocating health care resources, this is the book for you! With Iwao Hirose, my co-author, we explain why rationing is ubiquitous and unavoidable, how to value health, why cost-effectiveness analysis is central to resource allocation, the problems of disability and age discrimination, why curing headaches for the many can be more important than life-saving interventions for the few, whether responsibility for unhealthy lifestyles should make any difference to the care you can get, and how we should think about inequalities in health and longevity and social justice. The second edition also explains why some drugs are too expensive and others too cheap.

The first edition was published by Routledge in 2014, followed by a second, expanded edition in 2022. A Japanese translation was published in 2017.

You can buy it from the publisher or from an online retailer like this one. If you’re after the Japanese version, go here.

Here is a sample from the first edition to get you started.

Ageing without Ageism: Conceptual Puzzles and Policy Proposals

This is an edited volume that I’m currently working on with Axel Gosseries. Our contributors explore the role of age limits and the problem of age discrimination in voting and political representation, social policy and distributive justice, taxation and inheritance, health care resource allocation, and many other areas. The book will be published by Oxford University Press in 2022 or 2023. Stay tuned!