Bitesize ethics: Contested decisions in healthcare
This is the fourth class of the 5-day mini-series of Bitesize ethics, which provides a short introduction to the study of practical ethics by looking at some of the issues that concern philosophers and the public alike today. You are welcome to book every
class or just drop in for your favourite topic.
Health care is full of difficult decisions, over which reasonable people can disagree including:
• how to prioritise competing claims to scarce resources;
• the treatment of patients who cannot form or express views for themselves; and
• how health competes with other important goods in a society.
While ethics often focuses on what we should do in these cases, we also need to consider how to resolve such issues, and who gets to be involved in such decisions. This session will focus on important questions in this latter area, including conflicts
between doctors and patients’ representatives, and the role of the public in setting health priorities.