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The Article by Atul Gawande (2009) New Yorker
Pages 3 (753 words)
Find a newspaper article or scholarly journal article (from 2008 to present date) that illustrates an ethical discussion that involves allocation of health care resources such as challenges that fall within the category of distributive justice. The article by Atul Gawande (2009) in published in the New Yorker raises fundamental issues about the way American citizens receive their health care from their local hospitals and doctors.
Some scholars suggest that the system has drifted out of control: “Through no planned design or evil intent, our health care system has evolved in ways that better serve a myriad of economic, professional, and political interests than those of patients and families, and the larger public” (Mechanic, 2006, p. ix). Gawande, however, sees a much bleaker picture, and suggests that there are areas in America where doctors and administrators are financially tied into provision, and that this encourages massive amounts of over-treatment, with no benefit to patients. Gawande’s article describes a huge discrepancy in the per capita costs of medical care in two comparable districts, McAllen and El Paso, Texas, while there is no evidence that the higher cost location (McAllen) offers better care or achieves better results. This gives rise to a serious ethical problem: in El Paso patients have much lower rates of access to all kinds of tests and treatments, while in McAllen, they have much higher rates. The variation is due to doctor behavior, and not down to the demographics of the citizens, since the two regions are very similar. ...
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