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Intensive care units, scarce resources, and conflicting principles of justice

, : Intensive care units, scarce resources, and conflicting principles of justice. JAMA 255(9): 1159-1164

The authors approach the societal problem of the just distribution of health care resources by exploring one example-- the allocation of intensive care unit (ICU) beds between present patients and those awaiting admission--within the context of not expending a disproportionate share of resources for marginal benefit. They propose the metaphor of the societal "insurance policy" under which decisions regarding the investment of resources to meet various possible contingencies are made in advance. They then analyze several cases to demonstrate how various economic and moral options of the "insurance policy" could be applied in ICUs.


PMID: 3945036

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