How Ought Health Care Be Allocated? Two Proposals

Perspectives in Biology and Medicine

Authored Article


Two thinkers have crafted visions of how they believe health-care resources ought to be allocated if there were universal health-care coverage in the United States. One is The Ends of Human Life (1994), in which Ezekiel Emanuel proposes to base resource allocation on community preferences. More recently, Charlene Galarneau has written Communities of Health Care Justice (2016), partly in response to Emanuel’s earlier work. Both thinkers center their visions of just health care on communities, albeit differently structured from one another. This essay examines the similarities and differences in their proposals for resource allocation and addresses questions that arise.

The original article, “How Ought Healthcare be Allocated? Two Proposals,” was published in the Autumn, 2019 edition of Johns Hopkins University’s journal, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine.

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