Health Care, Ethics and Insurance

Health Care, Ethics and Insurance

Health Care, Ethics and Insurance

Health Care, Ethics and Insurance

Synopsis

Health Insurance and Ethics provides an essential survey of the key ethical issues in health insurance.Topics covered include:* AIDS* genetic engineering* screening* underwriting* new disability legislation* the ethics of private and public health insurance.This comprehensive and sometimes controversial book will be valuable reading for students and teachers of Business Studies as well as health professionals.

Excerpt

The questions considered in this book are made timely by both recent science and recent political economy. Health insurance in general and cover for certain serious diseases in particular are directly affected by advances in medical research. For example, drug therapies for AIDS now allow sufferers to keep their jobs and lead lives outside hospital: the risks to insurers of life and health insurance claims from AIDS have had to be reconsidered as a result. Markers of certain inherited diseases can now be identified by tests devised by geneticists. Should insurers have access to the results of these tests, if people with the unwanted markers end up being ineligible for affordable health care? These are among the ethical questions raised by recent science. The relevant developments in political economy are associated with the soaring costs of funding the welfare state, and the general reluctance of political parties and their electorates to raise the extra money from direct taxation. The cost not only of public health services but also of social services and pensions has to be considered in this connection. To meet the cost, large Western European welfare states may have to encourage individuals to insure themselves for long-term care and contribute directly to their own pension schemes. Perhaps contracts between public health authorities and private medical insurers will also have to be considered as a source of funding for capital projects and services within public sector health services. The major ethical question here is whether privatising pensions or care for the elderly or more of mainstream medical insurance will leave anyone with no safety net, or too many people with an inadequate safety net. As is well known from the case of the US, the money costs and moral costs of a system of non-compulsory, mainly private insurance can be very large, and these costs are just as real for those who are . . .

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