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There is a growing perception that age groups are competing for scarce medical and other resources. Yet, there has been little discussion of the central issue for any distributive system: Is rationing by age a morally acceptable public policy? In some rationing schemes appeal is made to an age criterion that works differently from appeals to race or sex criteria, for it operates within a life and not between lives. Our problem is to develop ways to convert individual prudent preferences into relevant and prudent social institutions.
Author(s): Norman Daniels
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Volume 61, Issue 3 (pages 489–522) Published in 1983
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The Milbank Quarterly is an editorially independent multidisciplinary journal that offers in-depth assessments of the social, economic, political, historical, legal, and ethical dimensions of health and health care policy.