Aarhus Universitets segl

Anna Christine Dorf

Ph.d.-studerende, Ph.d.-stipendiat

Anna Christine Dorf


The project revolves around value conflicts in health care rationing and how to make allocation choices in light of these conflicts. I explore these questions both theoretically (mainly locating myself within the tradition of analytical philosophy) and empirically (predominantly based on data from meetings and interviews with the Danish Medicines Council).

The point of departure of the project is this: In the light of scarce health care resources, rationing is unavoidable. Since this rationing severely affects the well-being of citizens, this rationing should be as transparent and explicit as possible. Several values are generally accepted as relevant for guiding health care rationing, including cost-effectiveness, equality, non-discrimination, and severity. It is not clear, however, on which basis these principles should be balanced against each other in actual rationing decisions (made, for instance, by health care rationing agencies such as the Danish Medicines Council). What is the proper relation between these values? How can one make legitimate allocation decisions in the light of this? And how should this affect health care rationing in a Danish context?

The PhD project is part of the broader DFF-funded project "Cost-Effectiveness and Non-Discrimination in Health Care: Must we Choose?" that focuses attention on a specific value conflict in health care rationing: between the values of cost-effectiveness and non-discriminating in health care rationing. Is it, for instance, justifiable not to offer a certain medical treatment to disabled or elderly because they can expect to benefit less from treatment than able or young (on standard measures of health care benefits)?

More generally, my main interests fall within the field of political theory, encompassing fundamental questions of epistemology and methodology, general issues such as
distributive justice, paternalism and political authority as well as contemporary challenges such as health care rationing, climate change, immigration, multiculturalism and education.
As mirrored in my PhD project (and my master's thesis), I find it very fruitful to combine theoretic analysis with empirical investigation, and another main interest of mine is method(ology), both quantitative and qualitative.
A special concern of mine is how to combine empirical knowledge with value assessments in policy making and implementation.

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