Disability discrimination and patient-sensitive health-related quality of life

Lasse Nielsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


It is generally accepted that morally justified health care rationing must be non-discriminatory and cost-effective. However, given conventional concepts of cost-effectiveness, resources spent on disabled people are spent less cost-effectively, ceteris paribus, than resources spent on non-disabled people. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that standard cost-effectiveness discriminates against the disabled. Call this the disability discrimination problem. Part of the disability discrimination involved in cost-effectiveness stems from the way in which health-related quality of life is accounted for and measured. This paper offers and defends a patient-sensitive account of health-related quality of life which can effectively make cost-effectiveness less discriminatory against the disabled and thus more morally justified.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)142-153
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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