Course Website Locator: id292-01

Harvard School of Public Health

The following course websites match your request:

Spring 2 2010

Dr. N. Daniels
2.5 credits
Lectures. Two 2-hour sessions each week

This course explores the ethical issues, especially issues of distributive justice, raised by health and health care resource allocation methodologies and decisions. We begin with examination of distributive issues raised by measures of summary population health and their extensions into cost effectiveness analysis, paying special attention to the strengths and weaknesses of the underlying welfare economic and utilitarian assumptions. Philosophical and empirical efforts to clarify our beliefs about these distributive issues and our commitments to them will also be discussed. We then turn to recent efforts to make health inequalities and inequities a focus of priority in resource allocation, examining both conceptual and moral issues raised by different approaches to such inequalities and by the fact that the distribution of health is so significantly affected by non-health sector factors. We take up two problems of cross-cutting interest, the different concern shown for identified versus statistical victims, and emerging issues about intergenerational equity concerning the elderly and young. Finally, we turn to fair decision process as a way of resolving disputes about allocation. The goal of the course is to equip students with the ethical basis for addressing resource allocation issues in practical public health contexts, and throughout the course there is a focus real cases where controversy surrounds such decisions.


Course evaluations are an important method for feedback on the quality of course offerings. The submission of a course evaluation is a requirement for this course. Your grade for the course will be made available only after you have submitted responses to at least the first three questions of the on-line evaluation for this course.

Spring 2 2009

Department of Population and International Health and the Department of Health Policy and Management
Dr. N. Daniels
2.5 credits
Lectures. Two 2-hour sessions each week

This course explores the ethical issues, especially issues of distributive justice, raised by health and health care resource allocation methodologies and decisions. We begin with examination of distributive issues raised by measures of summary population health and their extensions into cost effectiveness analysis, paying special attention to the strengths and weaknesses of the underlying welfare economic and utilitarian assumptions. Philosophical and empirical efforts to clarify our beliefs about these distributive issues and our commitments to them will also be discussed. We then turn to recent efforts to make health inequalities and inequities a focus of priority in resource allocation, examining both conceptual and moral issues raised by different approaches to such inequalities and by the fact that the distribution of health is so significantly affected by non-health sector factors. We take up two problems of cross-cutting interest, the different concern shown for identified versus statistical victims, and emerging issues about intergenerational equity concerning the elderly and young. Finally, we turn to fair decision process as a way of resolving disputes about allocation. The goal of the course is to equip students with the ethical basis for addressing resource allocation issues in practical public health contexts, and throughout the course there is a focus real cases where controversy surrounds such decisions.


Course evaluations are an important method for feedback on the quality of course offerings. The submission of a course evaluation is a requirement for this course. Your grade for the course will be made available only after you have submitted responses to at least the first three questions of the on-line evaluation for this course.

Spring 2 2008

Department of Population and International Health and the Department of Health Policy and Management
Dr. N. Daniels
2.5 credits
Lectures. Two 2-hour sessions each week

This course explores the ethical issues, especially issues of distributive justice, raised by health and health care resource allocation methodologies and decisions. We begin with examination of distributive issues raised by measures of summary population health and their extensions into cost effectiveness analysis, paying special attention to the strengths and weaknesses of the underlying welfare economic and utilitarian assumptions. Philosophical and empirical efforts to clarify our beliefs about these distributive issues and our commitments to them will also be discussed. We then turn to recent efforts to make health inequalities and inequities a focus of priority in resource allocation, examining both conceptual and moral issues raised by different approaches to such inequalities and by the fact that the distribution of health is so significantly affected by non-health sector factors. We take up two problems of cross-cutting interest, the different concern shown for identified versus statistical victims, and emerging issues about intergenerational equity concerning the elderly and young. Finally, we turn to fair decision process as a way of resolving disputes about allocation. The goal of the course is to equip students with the ethical basis for addressing resource allocation issues in practical public health contexts, and throughout the course there is a focus real cases where controversy surrounds such decisions.


Course evaluations are an important method for feedback on the quality of course offerings. The submission of a course evaluation is a requirement for this course. Your grade for the course will be made available only after you have submitted responses to at least the first three questions of the on-line evaluation for this course.

Spring 1 2007

Department of Population and International Health and the Department of Health Policy and Management
Dr. N. Daniels
2.5 credits
Lectures. Two 2-hour sessions each week

This course explores the ethical issues, especially issues of distributive justice, raised by health and health care resource allocation methodologies and decisions. We begin with examination of distributive issues raised by measures of summary population health and their extensions into cost effectiveness analysis, paying special attention to the strengths and weaknesses of the underlying welfare economic and utilitarian assumptions. Philosophical and empirical efforts to clarify our beliefs about these distributive issues and our commitments to them will also be discussed. We then turn to recent efforts to make health inequalities and inequities a focus of priority in resource allocation, examining both conceptual and moral issues raised by different approaches to such inequalities and by the fact that the distribution of health is so significantly affected by non-health sector factors. We take up two problems of cross-cutting interest, the different concern shown for identified versus statistical victims, and emerging issues about intergenerational equity concerning the elderly and young. Finally, we turn to fair decision process as a way of resolving disputes about allocation. The goal of the course is to equip students with the ethical basis for addressing resource allocation issues in practical public health contexts, and throughout the course there is a focus real cases where controversy surrounds such decisions.
Course Note: For course evaluation, please refer to the former number for this course, PIH278.
Course evaluations are an important method for feedback on the quality of course offerings. The submission of a course evaluation is a requirement for this course. Your grade for the course will be made available only after you have submitted responses to at least the first three questions of the on-line evaluation for this course.

Copyright © 2012 The President and Fellows of Harvard College