The talk aims to develop a new framework for the investigation of allocation issues in healthcare. Any agent who makes a claim on healthcare resources must provide reasons that support their claim. I propose that distributive justice in healthcare resource allocation is therefore best seen as an attempt to maximize reason-based claims of agents on healthcare resources. But ought we to make such priority-setting decisions at all? I propose that the answer to this query also depends on our account of the relevant reasons. In short, the most promising way to approach this area of applied ethics is to focus on the reasons that are relevant to our inquiry. This way of approaching the subject involves utilizing novel work on reasons that has not yet made its way into medical ethics: the (ultimate) aim of my approach thus is to fill this gap by fusing applied, normative and meta-ethics. To achieve this, I will first clarify the main concepts and the primary problems we face in this branch of medical ethics, moving then on to the different roles reasons play in the debate before considering some matters of health policy design.
Image: Rebecca Turner, "Dumbstruck", 2011