Who Should We Treat?: Rights, Rationing, and Resources in the NHS

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Oxford University Press, 2005 - 278 Seiten
We invest more in health care than ever before, yet we are more anxious about doctors, hospitals, and the NHS in general. As perceptions of patients' rights have expanded, so has the transparency of the difficult choices that are routine. Government has become more critical of the NHS and the public less willing to wait for treatment. Why does demand for health care consistently exceed supply and how should Government manage the problem? There is a danger that improved rights for the strong and articulate will ignore less visible, or unpopular interests. How should the rights of elderly patients, or children, or those with terminal illnesses be balanced? Who should decide: the government, doctors, NHS managers, citizens, or the courts? How should decision-makers be held accountable, and by whom? How should governance regulate the NHS? As patients become 'consumers' of medical care, what choice do they have as to how, where, and when they will be treated; and should this include hospitals abroad? This completely revised new edition puts patients' rights into their political, economic and managerial contexts. It considers the implications of the Bristol Inquiry and the rhetoric of patients as 'consumers' of care. In balancing the rights of individuals with those of the community as a whole, it deals with one of the most pressing problems in contemporary society. Reviews from the previous edition: "The book has a remarkably wide scope ... The book is replete with wise statements, always made with the utmost confidence and extensively footnoted ... All sides could profit from reading this book, which helps remind us of some of the practical perils of too much attention to the bottom line."--New England Journal of Medicine "The breadth of the text is to be praised and the tensions between the law, patients and resources in the NHS are well described. This book can be recommended to anyone interested in dealing with the practical challenges of rationing resources within the NHS.'"--Journal of Medical Ethics "Richly illuminates the trade-offs among the central indcators of a cost-effective health service--access, equity, quality, choice and cost. ... written in a language that is accessible to the medical profession and to the lay public. It also has important observations for health law and ethics."--The Lancet.

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Christopher Newdick is a Barrister and the Reader in Health Law at the University of Reading. He is also an honorary consultant to Reading Primary Care Trust, and a member of the Berkshire Priorities Committee.

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