An application of cooperative bargaining theory to an allocation problem in medicine
3 A cooperative bargaining model for two groups of patients
3.1 Introduction The model in this chapter refers to a medical allocation problem that has been discussed in philosophic literature since the late 70ies of the 20th century. In detail, the Parfit-Taurek discussion (e.g. in Lübbe (2004)) is about Taurek’s example of saving the lives of 5 individuals versus the life of 1 with the same amount of medicine. This illustrates a dilemma situation in allocating medical resources to patients. Ahlert (2006) generalizes Taurek’s example in health economics and defines an allocation problem with a finite number of patients who each have an individual need. The total amount of the medical good does not suffice to fulfill all needs. This chapter considers this type of models and defines and analyzes solutions to such allocation situations. We apply cooperative bargaining theory and characterize allocation mechanisms by their normative properties. Finding solutions to the described allocation problem one may consider different solution concepts. First, we may apply a stochastic process that chooses patients with a certain probability. Ahlert (2006) and Ahlert (2009) define such a random mechanism for the allocation problem. A second approach considers allocating medical resources according to a priority list as proposed by Ahlert (2005) and Zimmermann (2009). Finally, we contribute to the discussion by applying a cooperative bargaining approach to the allocation problem. That is, we model the allocation problem as a bargaining problem and we claim normative axioms for a solution that are derived from cooperative bargaining theory. In particular, we focus on the bargaining concepts...
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