The Rule of Rescue
AbstractJonsen coined the term "Rule of Rescue"(RR) to describe the imperative people feel to rescue identifiable individuals facing avoidable death. In this paper we attempt to draw a more detailed picture of the RR, identifying its conflict with cost-effectiveness analysis, the preference it entails for identifiable over statistical lives, the shock-horror response it elicits, the preference it entails for lifesaving over non-lifesaving measures, its extension to non-life-threatening conditions, and whether it is motivated by duty or sympathy. We also consider the measurement problems it raises, and argue that quantifying the RR would probably require a two-stage procedure. In the first stage the size of the individual utility gain from a health intervention would be assessed using a technique such as the Standard Gamble or the Time Trade-Off, and in the second the social benefits arising from the RR would be quantified employing the Person Trade-Off. We also consider the normative status of the RR. We argue that it can be defended from a utilitarian point of view, on the ground that rescues increase well-being by reinforcing people's belief that they live in a community that places great value upon life. However, utilitarianism has long been criticised for failing to take sufficient account of fairness, and the case is no different here: fairness requires that we do not discriminate between individuals on morally irrelevant grounds, whereas being "identifiable" does not seem to be a morally relevant ground for discrimination.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.
Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
Issue (Month): 12 (June)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Erik Nord & Paul Menzel & Jeff Richardson, 2003. "The value of life: individual preferences and social choice. A comment to Magnus Johannesson," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(10), pages 873-877.
- HAMMITT James K & TREICH Nicolas, 2006.
"Statistical vs. Identified Lives in Benefit-Cost Analysis,"
LERNA Working Papers
06.11.204, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
- James Hammitt & Nicolas Treich, 2007. "Statistical vs. identified lives in benefit-cost analysis," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 45-66, August.
- James K. Hammitt & Nicolas Treich, 2007. "Statistical vs. Identified Lives in Benefit-Cost Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 1931, CESifo Group Munich.
- Ramon Abel Castaño, 2006. "Los mandatos constitucionales sobre el derecho a la salud: implicaciones de equidad y eficiencia," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 003173, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
- Richardson, Jeff & Sinha, Kompal & Iezzi, Angelo & Maxwell, Aimee, 2012. "Maximising health versus sharing: Measuring preferences for the allocation of the health budget," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(8), pages 1351-1361.
- Erik Nord & Jose Luis Pinto & Jeff Richardson & Paul Menzel & Peter Ubel, 1999. "Incorporating societal concerns for fairness in numerical valuations of health programmes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 25-39.
- David Canning, 2006.
"The Economics of HIV/AIDS in Low-Income Countries: The Case for Prevention,"
PGDA Working Papers
1806, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
- David Canning, 2006. "The Economics of HIV/AIDS in Low-Income Countries: The Case for Prevention," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 121-142, Summer.
- Robin Pope & Reinhard Selten & Johannes Kaiser & Sebastian Kube & Jürgen Hagen, 2012. "Exchange rate determination: a theory of the decisive role of central bank cooperation and conflict," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 13-51, March.
- E. Wetering & E. Stolk & N. Exel & W. Brouwer, 2013. "Balancing equity and efficiency in the Dutch basic benefits package using the principle of proportional shortfall," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 107-115, February.
- José-Luis Pinto-Prades & José-María Abellán-Perpiñán, 2004.
"Mesuring the Health of Populations: The Veil of Ignorance Approach,"
116, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- José-Luis Pinto-Prades & José-Mar�a Abellán-Perpi�án, 2005. "Measuring the health of populations: the veil of ignorance approach," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 69-82.
- Richardson, Jeff & McKie, John, 2007. "Economic evaluation of services for a National Health Scheme: The case for a fairness-based framework," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 785-799, July.
- Dolan, Paul & Tsuchiya, Aki, 2005. "Health priorities and public preferences: the relative importance of past health experience and future health prospects," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 703-714, July.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.