Despite moves towards more openness over the allocation of treatment in the National Health Service (NHS), the public remains dependent upon the media for most of its information.
This paper concerns the issue of rationing and how this was represented in newspaper articles following a controversial decision by a health authority to withhold a particular treatment from a 10-year old girl suffering from leukaemia.
Relevant articles on this issue from a cross-section of newspapers were subjected to analysis using the method of Grounded Theory.
Three major themes emerged :
(i) the criteria for allocating treatment ;
(ii) who should make the decisions ;
and (iii) the consequences of transparency in the context of the current'market'ethos in the NHS.
Views diverged depending upon how the issue was framed, with some taking a patient-centred perspective and others emphasizing the dilemma of priority-setting.
Some welcomed greater transparency, but for others this underlined the incompatibility of two distributive domains, namely, the delivery of care and compassion vs. the more'rational'cost-benefit calculations associated with the economic domain.
Overall, the tone of debate was at a fairly superficial level with little consensus about how to begin to address these issues.
Mots-clés Pascal : Allocation ressource, Traitement, Prise décision, Critère, Organisation santé, Système santé, Royaume Uni, Europe, Homme
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Resource allocation, Treatment, Decision making, Criterion, Public health organization, Health system, United Kingdom, Europe, Human
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 97-0326936
Code Inist : 002B30A01B. Création : 12/09/1997.