Contemporary debate in health care resource management is tied to a central moral issue: how to achieve the optimum level of reasonable or appropriate treatment based on the medical condition of each patient. Failure to tackle and resolve this issue in a confident and forthright manner ensures that the present approach to health care decision-making will continue in a state of indecisiveness if not, indeed, lethargy. Undergirding this moral issue is the foundational economic dilemma of controlling costs while limiting access to health care resources. Crafting a just solution to an equitable distribution of finite health care resources is, indeed, a quandary, if not almost an impossibility.
What this article seeks to do, nonetheless, is to undertake an examination of the principles, socio-economic values and public policies needed to formulate health care compromises necessary to achieve greater stability in the normative decision-making process. In turn, this will ensure, ideally, a level of distributive justice in the total allocative process.
George P. Smith, II, Variables in Health Care Policy Making: Resolving A Quandary, 16 J. L. & MED. 52 (2009).