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The Health Care Future - Defining the Argument, Healing the Debate.  

James J. Pattee, M.D.
Orlo J. Otteson, M.A.

Table of Contents


A probing and incisive analysis of the major ethical, organizational, and educational issues facing today's American health care system.

The authors address fundamental issues that transcend usual health policy debates. Their discussion asks all citizens to see health care within its social context and to find opportunities for change at the organizational and community level — and across the continuum of care. The authors' optimistic text reflects a basic belief that rational discourse and thoughtful public debate can point the way toward a bright health care future. The book addresses central questions:

What is the meaning of health and what are the goals of medicine in our American society?

What cultural values underlie our health care system, and what value conflicts impede our health reform efforts?

What distributive and procedural justice principals underlie our health care system and what balance among the distributive principles of equity, equality, and need will help us make wiser resource allocation decisions?

What ethical dilemmas interfere with our ability to formulate more equitable and effective health care policies?

How do we meet the health care needs of all citizens in the face of finite resources and infinite needs?

What is the role of the medical education system in promoting and sustaining systemic, long-term changes in our health care system?

What new kinds of organizational and leadership models will help us change our health care organizations?

The authors envision a health care system that identifies value conflicts and interest conflicts and then finds ways to ameliorate resultant dilemmas. And they call for new "mental models" that will help us think creatively about our complex and promising health care future.