Ethics: Rationing Medical Care

A fiscal squeeze points to drastic measures

Which is more valuable? To provide a $150,000 liver transplant for an ailing child of indigent parents? Or to use that money for prenatal care that may enhance the life expectancy of fetuses being carried by 150 expectant mothers? To most Americans, the either/or aspect of the question is morally repugnant -- surely the leader of the democratic capitalist world can afford both. Yet a growing number of health experts argue that the U.S., in fact, no longer has the financial resources to provide unlimited medical treatment for all those who need it. The only solution, they say, is rationing health...

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