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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2020

Micaela Pinho

The current COVID-19 pandemic stressed the importance of discussing the problems surrounding the scarcity of healthcare resources. Healthcare rationing has been a constant…

199

Abstract

Purpose

The current COVID-19 pandemic stressed the importance of discussing the problems surrounding the scarcity of healthcare resources. Healthcare rationing has been a constant issue, but in the present pandemic, the need to choose who to treat and who to let die became a pressing reality. What criteria to adopt or what protocol to follow is a difficult challenge politicians face because it involves moral judgments and/or ethical values. As there are multiple ethically permissible criteria to allocate life-saving medical resources and we will all bear the consequences of these rationing decisions, it is important to explore the appropriateness of each of these approaches. Here, the author describes the main rationing criteria proposed in the literature and explores their applicability to an absolute scarcity of resources as the current one. Finally, the author describes the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Portugal and proposes some guidelines to ensure a fair allocation of resources.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review was made regarding some rationing protocols, and a qualitative research was followed to collect data regarding the number of daily infected and daily deaths by COVID-19.

Findings

Portugal has not, fortunately and so far, been as badly hit by COVID-19 as other European Countries. However a rigorous and explicit protocol is lacking to help health professionals at the frontline to take legitimate rationing decisions.

Practical implications

The author contributes for the discussion about life-or-death decisions by proposing some clinical practice lines that may be applied fairly and consistently.

Originality/value

This study is the first attempt to emphasize the need to set life-or-death guidelines in Portugal in a public health emergency and to propose some of these guidelines.

Details

International Journal of Health Governance, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-4631

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1988

Frank Dietz and Jan van der Straaten

The processes of production and consumption as developed by man affect the availability of natural resources for the subsequent processes of production and consumption…

Abstract

The processes of production and consumption as developed by man affect the availability of natural resources for the subsequent processes of production and consumption. The effect takes the form of pollution of air, water and soil, the presence of noise, monocultures, erosion and “asphalted zones”, as well as the exhaustion of supplies of fossil fuels and minerals in the earth's crust. However, for production and consumption, man needs natural resources of reasonably good quality. Reasonably fresh air, reasonably clean water, well‐functioning soil, a certain degree of quietness, a variety of landscapes and the availability of a certain number of fossil fuels and minerals are all indispensable for human life, now and in the future.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 15 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Article
Publication date: 1 May 1988

Ernest Raiklin and Charles C. Gillette

The purpose of this second part of this special issue is to contribute to a better understanding of the nature of Soviet society. It is not possible to analyse such a…

Abstract

The purpose of this second part of this special issue is to contribute to a better understanding of the nature of Soviet society. It is not possible to analyse such a society in all its complexities within the space of one study. There are, however, some economic relations which determine society's major features. We believe that commodity‐production relations in the Soviet Union are of this type.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 15 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Article
Publication date: 1 July 1996

Ernest Raiklin and Bülent Uyar

Starts from the premiss that the concept of scarcity is the cornerstone of economics. Discusses concepts of needs and wants. Reviews some views on the differences between…

4786

Abstract

Starts from the premiss that the concept of scarcity is the cornerstone of economics. Discusses concepts of needs and wants. Reviews some views on the differences between needs and wants, the reasons for these differences and their scarcity and opportunity cost.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 23 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2007

Juliane Riese

The paper's purpose is to improve understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR), by critically examining two assumptions taken for granted in capitalist market…

953

Abstract

Purpose

The paper's purpose is to improve understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR), by critically examining two assumptions taken for granted in capitalist market economies as well as economic theory, and their consequences for CSR.

Design/methodology/approach

The two assumptions of resource scarcity and the necessity to outperform competitors, and their consequences for one's understanding of CSR are discussed. Some criticisms of CSR are reviewed in this context.

Findings

The paper argues that the named assumptions put pressure on individuals and induce fear, inhibiting individual reflection on the ends and consequences of economic activity. Moreover, if individuals look to organizations for alleviation of fear, this will inhibit such reflection on the organizational level. This lack of reflection leads to CSR being interpreted and practised in narrow ways, for example, as a public relations measure unconnected to core business. Thus, in order to arrive at a more holistic understanding and practice of CSR, the basic assumptions of scarcity and outperformance must be addressed.

Originality/value

The paper positions the CSR concept, as well as the problems and criticisms related to it, in a broader historical, cultural and psychological context.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 May 2021

Micaela Pinho

This paper aims to investigate the Portuguese general public views regarding the criteria that should guide critical COVID-19 patients to receive medical devices…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the Portuguese general public views regarding the criteria that should guide critical COVID-19 patients to receive medical devices (ventilators and IUC beds) during the current pandemic context. Based on rationing principles and protocols proposed in ethical and medical literature the authors explore how Portuguese general public evaluates the fairness of five allocation principles: “prognosis”, “severity of health condition”, “patients age”, “instrumental value” (frontline healthcare professionals should be prioritized during the pandemic) and “lottery”.

Design/methodology/approach

An online questionnaire was used to collect data from a sample of 586 Portuguese citizens. Descriptive statistics and non-parametric tests were used to define a hierarchy of prioritization criteria and to test for the association between respondents support to them and their socio-demographic and health characteristics.

Findings

Respondents gave top priority to prognosis when faced with absolute scarcity, followed closely by the severity of health condition, patient’s age with instrumental value receiving lowest support, on average. However, when the age of the patients was confronted with survival, younger-first principle prevailed over recovery. In a pandemic context, lottery was considered the least fair allocation method. The findings suggest that respondents’ opinions are aligned with those of ethicists but are partially in disagreement with the protocol suggested for Portugal.

Originality/value

This study represents the first attempt to elicit public attitudes towards distributive criteria during a pandemic and, therefore, in a real context where the perception is that life and death decisions have to be made.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 35 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 1999

Andreas Schneider

Demonstrates changes in conservatism in a cross‐cultural and over time perspective. Using a micro‐model, attempts to explain the interdependency of materialism, religion…

Abstract

Demonstrates changes in conservatism in a cross‐cultural and over time perspective. Using a micro‐model, attempts to explain the interdependency of materialism, religion, authority and family in establishing convention. Presents the findings of a questionnaire of undergraduates in North Carolina looking at the identities that reflect the suggested changes. Combines the analysis of a time series established over 20 years in the US with a cross sectional analysis of Germany to test a model of conservatism.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 19 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Expert briefing
Publication date: 19 August 2022

High population growth and low rainfall have contributed to Jordan being classified as an 'absolute water-scarcity' country, a term applied to countries with less than 500…

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1995

William A. Jackson

Economists are divided about population growth: the pessimism ofneo‐Malthusians contrasts strongly with the optimism of cornucopians.Despite their differences, however…

2897

Abstract

Economists are divided about population growth: the pessimism of neo‐Malthusians contrasts strongly with the optimism of cornucopians. Despite their differences, however, both schools of thought reject economic orthodoxy and prefer evolutionary forms of theory. Their interpretations of evolution are different: the neo‐Malthusians appeal to the entropy law, whereas the cornucopians emphasize human creativity expressed through markets. Argues that both schools are right to adopt an evolutionary outlook, but that they are too restrictive in their conception of evolution. A more complete evolutionary view, which allows properly for social institutions, could give a more balanced account of population growth.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1987

John M. Gowdy

The description “bio‐economics” is currently being claimed by two opposing schools of thought. For one group of economists, led by Kenneth Boulding, Herman Daly and…

Abstract

The description “bio‐economics” is currently being claimed by two opposing schools of thought. For one group of economists, led by Kenneth Boulding, Herman Daly and Nicholas Georgescu‐Roegen, the term is chosen to emphasise the biological foundations of our economic activity. They remind us that the human species, as members of the animal kingdom, live as other species do, by taking low entropy from the natural environment and discharging it back into that environment as high‐entropy waste. The economic system is thus viewed as a sub‐set of larger processes taking place in the natural world. This school questions the reductionism typical of modern science and seeks to build an alternative approach based on a holistic view of nature and society.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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