Societal Values and health policy making: the role of consistence, coherence and consensus

Project title: Societal Values and health policy making: the role of consistence, coherence and consensus
Dates: 12 Months
Funder: Wellcome Trust, Small Grant in Humanities and Social Science
Project PI: Prof Rachel Baker
Project Partners: Prof Stirling Bryan – UBC Vancouver, Dr Ellen Stewart – Edinburgh, Dr Lucy Frith – Liverpool, Dr Benedict Rumbold - UCL


How should we incorporate plurality in ‘societal values' - that is, normative judgments made by members of the public - when setting priorities in health care?

My research, studying societal values and health care priority setting, suggests moral disagreement, both in terms of general principles and more specific contexts (e.g. life-extending technologies for people with terminal illnesses). Although I have used mixed methods, my work has been motivated from a health economics perspective. To take it forward I want to work with researchers and practitioners outside my current disciplinary network, with expertise in deliberative democracy, ethics, political science and public engagement.

The goals of this small grant are to provide a period of research leave, to develop a network, establish key collaborators and organize a symposium and deliberative, research design workshop. These activities are linked and will work to develop thinking, through new connections, and to generate debate more generally. Ultimately, it will lead to a new, interdisciplinary grant proposal.

This grant would be used to:
1. Fund a period of 3 months research leave;
2. Develop a multi-disciplinary network;
3. Write an agenda-setting paper for presentation at a symposium (and subsequent publication);
4. Organize an interdisciplinary symposium and research design workshop.