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Administrative Ethics and the Allocation of Scarce Resources

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Author(s): P.J. Maddox

Journal: Online Journal of Issues in Nursing
ISSN 1091-3734

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Date: 1998;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Recent economic forces have created incentives to change the structure of the United States (U.S.) health care system in order to achieve cost containment. Answers to concerns about high cost and complaints about the quality of care are explained by the conditions under which administrative and care decisions are made on a day-to-day basis. This article provides an introduction to the complexities and challenges of making ethical resource allocation decisions about health care. It introduces the ethical dimensions of decision making as concerns accountability and resource allocation in a complex health care system. Additionally, it presents a recommendation for the use of distributive justice in the allocation of scarce resources. While the subject matter is relevant for all nurses, this article focuses on nurses who are particularly interested in policy-making and management practice.

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