Can a Health Care Market Be Moral?
A Catholic Vision
The Catholic Church generally questions the market's ability to satisfy the many human needs intrinsic to any care delivery system yet, although the Church views health care as a basic human right, it has yet to offer strategies for how such a right can be guaranteed. Mary J. McDonough, a former Legal Aid lawyer for medical cases, understands the advantages and disadvantages of market-based care and offers insight and solutions in Can a Health Care Market Be Moral?
Drawing on Catholic social teachings from St. Augustine to Pope John Paul II, McDonough reviews health system successes and failures from around the world and assesses market approaches to health care as proposed by leading economists such as Milton Friedman, Regina Herzlinger, Mark Pauly, and Alain Enthoven. Balancing aspects of these proposals with Daniel Callahan's value-dimension approach, McDonough offers a Catholic vision of health care in the United States that allows for some market mechanisms while promoting justice and concern for the least advantaged.
About the Author
"Her presentation is detailed, logical, and consistently approached with excellent documentation and a lengthy bibliography and index."—Catholic Library World
"This book is a valuable steppingstone from moral calls for health care reform to concrete policy proposals. It will help those informed by Catholic social teaching to think more clearly about this complex and challenging issue."—Lisa Cahill, Boston College
"In an admirably comprehensive and in-depth book, Mary J. McDonough shows how the Catholic insistence on a right to basic health care can be put into practice in a system that is universal, affordable, and sustainable. McDonough convincingly argues that such a system requires both a systematic organization involving the role of government together with some market mechanisms to control costs and a value approach to the meaning of health that sees it as a means and not an end."—Charles E. Curran, Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values, Southern Methodist University
"McDonough's Can A Health Care Market Be Moral? is a very helpful and critical contribution to the growing analysis of justice and fairness in health care ethics. She provides an excellent review of perspectives of Roman Catholic social justice in relation to understandings of various market models and models of health and health care. McDonough provides an excellent proposal for thinking through how a health care market can be moral. Her book is a welcome addition to a developing field and will help set the direction for future discussions."—Thomas A. Shannon, professor emeritus of religion and social ethics, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
"Catholic social teaching on capitalism and healthcare is the point of departure for this philosophical and theological analysis of models for funding and distributing health care. In clear and accessible writing, McDonough walks us through complex economic theories and models of health care distribution as she tests how well the market organization approaches of Friedman, Herzlinger, Pauly, and Enthoven and the value dimension approach of Callahan satisfy the ethical criteria found in Catholic social teaching. This will be a welcomed book for anyone who believes that the Catholic theological tradition can make a significant contribution to this major issue at the intersection of social ethics, economics, and health care."—Richard M. Gula, SS, professor of moral theology, Franciscan School of Theology/Graduate Theological Union
Other Titles in MEDICAL / Ethics
Other Titles in Medical ethics & professional conduct