Legitimate Policymaking: The Importance of Including Health-care Workers in Limit-Setting Decisions in Health Care

A.-C. Nedlund, K. Baeroe
2014 Public Health Ethics  
The concept of legitimacy is often used and emphasized in the context of setting limits in health care, but rarely described is what is actually meant by its use. Moreover, it is seldom explicitly stated how health-care workers can contribute to the matter, nor what weight should be apportioned to their viewpoints. Instead the discussion has focused on whether they should take on the role of the patients' advocate or that of gatekeeper to the society's resources. In this article, we shed light
more » ... n the role of health-care workers in limit setting and how their conferred legitimacy may support subordinators' (i.e. citizens') conferred legitimacy. We argue that health-care workers have an important role to play as both moral and political agents in limit setting, and delineate normative conditions that justify and facilitate health-care workers in conferring legitimacy on this kind of decision. Their role and potential impact on political limit setting does not-theoretically-affect the idea of democratic legitimacy negatively. Rather, as we suggest, by designing for limit-setting policymaking accordingly, healthcare workers, as well as citizens, are more justified in conferring democratic legitimacy to health-care limitsetting decisions than if these concerns were not addressed.
doi:10.1093/phe/phu016 fatcat:4rkjixpdprfordlp7faibdt7n4