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Appeal to the Rule of Rescue in health care: discriminating and not benevolent?

Lübbe, Weyma.
Med Health Care Philos; 22(1): 53-58, 2019 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | 2019 | ID: mdl-29946900
Resumo: Thirty years of debate have passed since the term "Rule of Rescue" has been introduced into medical ethics. Its main focus was on whether or why medical treatment for acute conditions should have priority over preventive measures irrespective of opportunity costs. Recent contributions, taking account of the widespread reluctance to accept purely efficiency-oriented prioritization approaches, advance another objection: Prioritizing treatment, they hold, discriminates against statistical lives. The reference to opportunity costs has also been renewed in a distinctly ethical fashion: It has been stipulated that favoring help for identifiable lives amounts to a lack of benevolence for one's fellow creatures. The present article argues against both objections. It suggests that the debate's focus on consequences (deaths or severe ill health) should be reoriented by asking which aspects of such states of affairs are actually attributable to a decision maker who judges within a specific situation of choice.