Moral challenges in managed care
CITATION: Hattingh, L. 2015. Moral challenges in managed care. South African Journal of Bioethics and Law, 8(2):17-20, doi:10.7196/SAJBL.431.
The original publication is available at http://www.sajbl.org.za
Managed healthcare in South Africa is faced with complex moral challenges, where different stakeholders appeal to different ethics principles to guide decision-making. The traditional bio-medical ethics principles of beneficence, non-maleficence and respect for autonomy are typically emphasised in clinical practice, while third-party funders appeal to the principle of justice to guide the allocation of limited, pooled resources. Healthcare professionals working in managed care are particularly exposed to these conflicts, vis-à-vis incongruence between the ethics guidelines from their professional bodies and the legislation pertaining to managed care. Common understanding of the claims and responsibilities of each of the stakeholders may promote a more coherent, sustainable healthcare system.