Total Questions : 1
You are a Chief Medical officer running a hospital in a primarily lower-income neighborhood, where many of your patients are recent migrants from different parts of the country. You are granted a fixed annual budget of Rs.1 crore through your local public health department, and it is unlikely that you can obtain additional funding for any year. Traditionally, you have used your entire budget for the past several years.
One day, a frightened, thin young man appears to the clinic with a folder of medical records. He is accompanied by his aunt, who explains to you that he was recently diagnosed with a rare type of cancer that, if untreated, will result in his death within six months. After further inquiry, you determine that his cancer is treatable, but will require Rs. 50 Lakh (Half of the total annual budget) to save his life.
Treating this single patient means that there will not be enough money to treat all of the other patients who come to the clinic over the course of the year. In other words, his medication is not cost-effective because for the same amount invested in supplying the clinic, the hospital could prevent many more deaths or disability adjusted life years for a greater number of patients. However, allowing a patient to die of a treatable condition feels wrong on many levels.
a. Identify the stakeholders and ethical dilemmas involved in the case.
b. What are the options available to you? Which one do you think will be the most appropriate step that can be taken and why?GS Paper 4 Case Studies