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American Health Care : Realities, Rights and Reforms - Charles J. Dougherty

American Health Care

Realities, Rights and Reforms

Hardcover Published: 3rd March 1988
ISBN: 9780195052718
Number Of Pages: 240

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This book provides a moral evaluation of American health care. It is in three main parts: a review and analysis of conditions bearing on access to quality health care, a philosophical analysis and defence of the concept of a moral right to health care, and a discussion of various policy alternatives for reform of the US system for delivering health care. The first chapter demonstrates that many Americans, especially among blacks, persons from low income families, and those with less education, are underserved by the present system. Persons in these groups have significantly worse health characteristics than other Americans. Do these persons have a right to health care? If so, to what kinds of care and how much? In part two, four contemporary theories of justice and of peoples' rights - utilitarianism, egalitarianism, libertarianism, and contractarianism - are examined and their implications for a right to health care described. Each theory is then discussed in terms of a right to health care that encompasses non-interference with one's health, primary care, curative care under some circumstances, and the freedom to buy additional health care not guaranteed by right. What is to be done? This is the central question of the third part, which examines and evaluates alternative directions for reform of the American health care system.

Industry Reviews

"There is no greater problem in bioethics today than access to health care. Charles Dougherty brings both precision and clarity to a terribly complex area. American Health Care should be must reading for those who play a role in developing a sane and sustainable policy: philosophers, social scientists, policy analysts, and health care professionals."--Richard A. McCormick, S.J., University of Notre Dame "This is philosophic argument at its most practical. No other book covers this ground, and few other recent contributions to medical ethics or the politics of medicine have such immediate and far-reaching implications."--Ernan McMullin, Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values, University of Notre Dame "I liked Dougherty's book. It is a clear, readable analysis of the larger ethical issues involving the health care system as a whole. The text blends ethical principles and issues with the realities of the health care in a clear way. It will be a useful complement to the innumerable texts which deal with the bioethical problems but not with the social and policy issues as this book does." --Edmund D. Pellegrino, Director, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University "Charles J. Dougherty has written a book the new president should read....This book is a must for public policy-makers....Dougherty's conclusions on reform should be required reading for everyone who is involved in setting our health-care agenda....Saying this book is important is an understatement. It should be a primary reference for facts and ideas and a standard for changing the system." --Lincoln, Nebraska Sunday Journal-Star "An appropriate acquisition for graduate libraries in philosophy, social science, and public health." --Choice "As the title indicates, this is a tripartite study that reviews and analyses contemporary health care in the United States, examines the concept of a moral right to health care, and discusses alternative policies for reform. . . .a most impressive work which deserves to be widely read." --BMJ "Charles Dougherty has undertaken a complex task: to explicate the relation between the philosophical question of rights and the health policy issue of access...American Health Care: Realities, Rights, and Reforms is a bold synthesis of two related but different fields. For both the philosopher and the policy analyst it has much to offer. The application of moral argument to so vital an issue as health care is of tantamount importance. Inversely, a discussion of rights that allows us to put general arguments concerning access and rationing into a conceptual framework can only strengthen policy analysis...using the book as a synthesis of two fields, I was able to learn from those areas with which I was unfamiliar and therefore bring fresh insights to my reading of the topics with which I was familiar." --Inquiry "Excellent treatment of ethical issues in health care reform. Dougherty's argument for the existence of a right to health care for all Americans--but especially for disadvantaged ones--is much needed in today's health care reform deabate."--Professor Karen L. Baird, SUNY, Purchase.

Part I: Realities 1: Some American Health Care Realities: Access to Needed Care; Quality of Care; Rising Costs Part II: Rights 2: A Right to Health Care: The Concept of a Right; For and Against a Right to Health Care 3: Utilitarianism: Optimal Consequences; Prudent Insurance 4: Egalitarianism: Equal Intrinsic Value; Substantive Equality 5: Libertarianism: Liberty and Ownership; Compensatory Rights 6: Contractarianism: The Social Contract; Liberty, Opportunity, and Wealth 7: Plural Foundations: Proof and Persons; Four Health Care Rights; Rights, Clarity, and Ideals Part III: Reforms 8: Market Reforms: Pure Competition; A Hobbled Market 9: DRGs, HMOs, and Vouchers: Price Controls; Prepaid Group Practice; Cash and Voucher Plans 10: National Health Care Plans: Medicare and Medicaid; National Health Insurance; A National Health Care Service

ISBN: 9780195052718
ISBN-10: 0195052714
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 3rd March 1988
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.39 x 15.6  x 1.42
Weight (kg): 0.51

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