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L'éthique (médicale) est elle soluble dans le calcul économique?

  • Olivier Thevenon


    (INED - Institut national d'études démographiques)

  • Philippe Batifoulier


This article aims to explain medical ethics with tools of the economic theory. It first considers how economic concepts of preference or “social capital” may be referred to explain ethical attitude of a physician. It presents an evaluation of the relevance of economic calculus (costadvantage analysis) in making ethics an economic item. An original analysis of ethics as an “interpretative frame” is proposed. Implications on the role of institutions and health policy are then derived: institutions are viewed as frames for evaluation of agents and not pure prescription of behaviours.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00442960.

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Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Economie Appliquée, Presses de l'ISMEA, 2003, 2 (3), pp.161-186
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00442960
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  1. Jon Elster, 1998. "Emotions and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 47-74, March.
  2. Sen, A., 1996. "Maximisation and the Act of Choice," Papers 270, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  3. Becker, Gary S, 1981. "Altruism in the Family and Selfishness in the Market Place," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 48(189), pages 1-15, February.
  4. Scott, Anthony & Vick, Sandra, 1999. "Patients, Doctors and Contracts: An Application of Principal-Agent Theory to the Doctor-Patient Relationship," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 46(2), pages 111-34, May.
  5. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
  6. Vick, Sandra & Scott, Anthony, 1998. "Agency in health care. Examining patients' preferences for attributes of the doctor-patient relationship," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 587-605, October.
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