Dealing with Moral Dilemma Raised by Adaptive Preferences in Health Technology Assessment: the Example of Growth Hormones and Bilateral Cochlear Implants
Thébaut, Clémence (2013), Dealing with Moral Dilemma Raised by Adaptive Preferences in Health Technology Assessment: the Example of Growth Hormones and Bilateral Cochlear Implants, Social Science & Medicine, 99, p. 102-109. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.10.020
TypeArticle accepté pour publication ou publié
Journal nameSocial Science & Medicine
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Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine [LEDa]
Abstract (EN)The aim of this article is to assess dilemma raised by adaptive preferences in the economic evaluation of growth hormone (GH) treatment for non-GH-deficient short children, and of bilateral cochlear implants for deaf children. Early implementation of both technologies and their irreversible consequences increase the potential conflicts faced by the assessors of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) states (on behalf of patients) who could be interviewed (parents, individuals with an experience of the same disability, or representative samples of the general public). Indeed, assessors’ preferences may be influenced by their own situation and they are likely to vary according to age and the experience of disability. Three options are put forward which aim to resolve these moral dilemma and help economists make methodological choices that cannot be avoided in order to carry out this assessment. They are grounded on three specific egalitarian theories of social justice. The main contribution of this article is to show that a dialogue between ethics and economics, prior to an assessment, makes it possible to redefine the choice of effectiveness criteria (subjective well-being, capabilities or social outcomes), the choice of perspective (patients or the able-bodied), as well as the scope of assessment (medical and non-medical care).
Subjects / Keywordswelfare economics; paediatric treatment; health technology assessment; disability; adaptive preferences
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