Rationing Sanity: Ethical Issues in Managed Mental Health Care

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Mental illness is the poor, and somehow "damaged," cousin to physical ailments in the eyes of too many in our society. Compare the difference in how people would respond to someone who had fallen and broken their leg on the street, to how most react to those mentally ill among us, on those same streets, who spend their winters on steam grates and forage for food in dumpsters. Rationing Sanity is a provocative analysis of the mental health care system in the United States, dealing with issues of justice and access to mental health care. How should a decent society, affluent but facing many serious calls on its resources, best care for citizens afflicted with severe and persistent mental illnesses? James Lindemann Nelson brings together, for the first time, scholars of the ethics of mental health care and top managed care policy analysts to address this crucial problem. Rationing Sanity integrates those perspectives with the thoughtful practice-based experience of physicians well versed in the actual care of people with emotional and behavioral problems. Over a period of years, the contributors met face-to-face to engage each other on the ethics of managed mental health care-the result is a unique, collaborative effort that provides a wealth of important new insights on not only how Americans can readjust their attitudes toward the mentally ill-but also how we may find more just and humane treatment for those afflicted.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780878401451
  • Publisher: Georgetown University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2003
  • Series: Hastings Center Studies in Ethics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.42 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

James Lindemann Nelson is professor of philosophy at Michigan State University, and is the author, most recently, of Hippocrates' Maze: Ethical Explorations of the Medical Labyrinth.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Rationing Sanity James Lindemann Nelson 1. Shifting Focus: The Historical Meaning of Managed Care and the Search for Ethics in Mental Health Gary S. Belkin 2. The Ethics of Managed Care: Medical Ethics or Business Ethics? Allen Buchanan 3. Whether to Discontinue Nonfutile Use of a Scarce Resource Frances M. Kamm 4. The Just Allocation of Mental Health Care Eric Rakowski 5. Resource Allocation for Mental Health Care and the Aggregation Problem Bentson H. McFarland 6. Commentary on the Just Allocation of Mental Health Care Laura Weiss Roberts, Teresita McCarty, and Sally K. Severino 7. The Democracy Problem in Mental Health Care Priority Setting Dan W. Brock 8. The Democracy Problem as Applied to the Oregon Health Plan and its Prioritization of Mental Health Services David A. Pollack 9. Saving the Worst Off (Principle) James Lindemann Nelson 10. Managed Mental Health Care: Ethical Issues for Providers, Patients, and Managers Tia Powell Index

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