Health at any Price?
Journal/Book: Natur- und Ganzheitsmedizin Wissenschaft und Praxis. 1990; 3/7: 227-232.
Abstract: The overall shortage of resources also necessitates decisions in the health sector an which means should sensibly be spent an which measures. Optimal medical care for everybody, using all ways of treatment which are possible today cannot be achieved. The cost-explosion has its main reasons in an explosion of the range of different methods of treatment offered - the costs of comparable therapeutic measures, however, have not increased disproportion-ally within the past ten years. Shifting the costs more towards preventive measures, sensible as it is, cannot solve the problem. Cutting down the range of methods of treatment offered can be ethically supported if it does not occur in the individual case only. The question must not be whether a certain person is denied a certain possible way of treatment for reasons of costs. Rather, one has to decide beforehand whether certain techniques, such as certain organ transplantations for example, should be generally offered or not at all. This only causes the statistical life expectancy of all to decrease by a certain hypothetical value. Such decisions, which also touch the life expectancy, are taken every day in fields like pollution control or traffic politics.