Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Equitability in Healthcare Resource Allocation Concerning Substance Users: An Argument Against Lower Priority Setting

Version 1 : Received: 11 January 2019 / Approved: 14 January 2019 / Online: 14 January 2019 (12:05:34 CET)

How to cite: Carroll, L.S.L. Equitability in Healthcare Resource Allocation Concerning Substance Users: An Argument Against Lower Priority Setting. Preprints 2019, 2019010137 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201901.0137.v1). Carroll, L.S.L. Equitability in Healthcare Resource Allocation Concerning Substance Users: An Argument Against Lower Priority Setting. Preprints 2019, 2019010137 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201901.0137.v1).

Abstract

Organ transplantation centers set criteria for candidate qualification, which has led to disparate healthcare resource allocation practices affecting those with a substance use history. These individuals are denied organ transplants by committees and healthcare providers who assign them lower priority status. The lower priority argument claims that healthcare resources should not be provided equally to individuals failing to share responsibility for not doing enough in addressing the diseases associated with substance use. The purpose of this work is to explore the interrelatedness between the ethics of a merit-based system of moral responsibility and lower priority setting involved in healthcare resource allocation pertaining to those with substance use histories.  An integral approach to the argument against the lower prioritists with a focus on the relationship between different organ allocation practices affecting substance users and the justification for resource allocation practices in healthcare and transplant committees. Lower priority setting is challenged, and an argument offered in which substance users are assigned higher priority when relying on “doing enough” in a merit-based system of moral responsibility. It is determined that one cannot substantiate assigning a lower priority status since a lack of success in rehab does not imply a lack of effort.  Additionally, neither to confirmatory behavior, nor to non-conforming behavior may freedom be justifiably ascribed in a merit-based system of responsibility because freedom to choose can neither be established a priori, nor a posteriori with respect to meritorious behavior.

Subject Areas

Organ Transplantation, Ethics, Healthcare Resource Allocation, Lower Priority, Substance Use, Merit

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