News & Events

Professor Rachel Baker - Inaugural Lecture

Extending life for people with a terminal illness: a moral right or an expensive death? Exploring societal perspectives

All health systems face the same fundamental, moral dilemma: given that healthcare resources are scarce in relation to claims made on them, how should they be allocated? In the context of a publicly funded health system operating with a finite health budget, not all available treatments can be provided. But which treatments (and which patient groups) should be denied? And how should such judgements be made? These questions feature increasingly in the media and in public debate.

In this public lecture, Professor Baker discussed the role of societal values in determining health care resource allocation, drawing on her research findings, and engaging the audience in ‘thought experiments’.

In order to illustrate some of the issues at stake, the lecture focussed on a specific (controversial) example: the provision of life extending treatments for people with terminal illnesses. There is no cure for terminal illness, by definition, but there are treatments that can extend patients’ lives by a few weeks or months. These are often high-cost medicines and there is an opportunity cost to provision; the decision to provide treatment for one group of patients means forgoing the benefits that would have resulted from the provision of other treatments to other patients.

The lecture concluded by reflecting on the status of societal values in resource allocation decisions in publicly funded health systems and the difficult question of how to make policies when society holds a number of different, competing views.

The lecture took place at Glasgow Caledonian University, Deeprose Lecture Theatre, Wednesday 18th February, 2015.

Research & Engagement Workshop, London - January 14, 2015

This research and engagement event was held at The Caledonian Club, London. We had an interactive programme that included trying out some of our research methods, round table exercises and open discussion. 

The aim of the event was to discuss the findings of our research and to get feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, with different experiences and expertise, in relation to:

  • What you think of our findings
  • How they might be applied in practice
  • Ethical, economic and methodological issues

The objectives of this event was to get views and reactions to our work and to hear ideas about how it might be taken forward in future analyses or projects. Individuals with relevant experience and expertise participated in this workshop.

 

Research & Engagement Workshop, Glasgow – October 3, 2014

This research and engagement event was held at Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow. We had an interactive programme that included trying out some of our research methods, round table exercises and open discussion. 

The aim of the event was to discuss the findings of our research and to get feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, with different experiences and expertise, in relation to:

  • What you think of our findings
  • How they might be applied in practice
  • Ethical, economic and methodological issues

The objectives of this event was to get views and reactions to our work and to hear ideas about how it might be taken forward in future analyses or projects. Individuals with relevant experience and expertise participated in this workshop.

 

engage-end-of-life.jpg