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Public values and plurality in health priority setting: What to do when people disagree and why we should care about reasons as well as choices

Rachel Baker, Helen Mason, Neil McHugh and Cam Donaldson

Social Science & Medicine, 2021, vol. 277, issue C

Abstract: ‘What does ‘The Public’ think?’ is a question often posed by researchers and policy makers, and public values are regularly invoked to justify policy decisions. Over time there has been a participatory turn in the social and health sciences, including health technology assessment and priority setting in health, towards citizen participation such that public policies reflect public values. It is one thing to agree that public values are important, however, and another to agree on how public values should be elicited, deliberated upon and integrated into decision-making. Surveys of public values rarely deliver unanimity, and preference heterogeneity, or plurality, is to be expected.

Keywords: Public values; Plurality; Priority setting; Q methodology; Incompletely theorized agreements; Health economics; Empirical ethics; Public deliberation; Preference elicitation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.113892

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