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Research Article  |   May 1988
Access to Health Care: A Clinician’s Opinion About an Ethical Issue
Author Affiliations
  • Joanne C. Cassidy, MEd, OTR, is Manager of Occupational Therapy at the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont 05401
Article Information
Ethics / Professional Issues / Features
Research Article   |   May 1988
Access to Health Care: A Clinician’s Opinion About an Ethical Issue
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May 1988, Vol. 42, 295-299. doi:10.5014/ajot.42.5.295
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May 1988, Vol. 42, 295-299. doi:10.5014/ajot.42.5.295
Abstract

Is health care a social good, or is it a commodity? A trend to increase access to health care was initiated in the 1960s by the Social Security Act. The current prospective payment system has served to reverse the impact of the Social Security Act and has caused a clash between administrative and clinical decision makers. The physician’s traditional pledge to place the patient’s welfare first conflicts with the social reality of fiscal constraint, which is causing the rationing of patient care without public consensus. This article raises the issue of distributive justice in health care and points to the need for increased understanding of the nature of health care as a social good.