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The meaning of severity – do citizenś views correspond to a severity framework based on ethical principles for priority setting?

Mari Broqvist, Lars Sandman, Peter Garpenby and Barbro Krevers

Health Policy, 2018, vol. 122, issue 6, 630-637

Abstract: The importance for governments of establishing ethical principles and criteria for priority setting in line with social values, has been emphasised. The risk of such criteria not being operationalised and instead replaced by de-contextualised priority-setting tools, has been noted. The aim of this article was to compare whether citizenś views are in line with how a criterion derived from parliamentary-decided ethical principles have been interpreted into a framework for evaluating severity levels, in resource allocation situations in Sweden. Interviews were conducted with 15 citizens and analysed by directed content analysis. The results showed that the multi-factorial aspects that participants considered as relevant for evaluating severity, were similar to those used by professionals in the Severity Framework, but added some refinements on what to consider when taking these aspects into account. Findings of similarities, such as in our study, could have the potential to strengthen the internal legitimacy among professionals, to use such a priority-setting tool, and enable politicians to communicate the justifiability of how severity is decided. The study also disclosed new aspects regarding severity, of which some are ethically disputed, implying that our results also reveal the need for ongoing ethical discussions in publicly-funded healthcare systems.

Keywords: Citizens views; Priority setting; Severity of ill health; Ethical principles; Directed content analysis; Sweden (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2018.04.005

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