Another peep behind the veil

John McKie, Helga Kuhse, Jeff Richardson, Peter Singer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Harris argues that if QALYs are used only 50% of the population will be eligible for survival, whereas if random methods of allocation are used 100% will be eligible. We argue that this involves an equivocation in the use of 'eligible', and provides no support for the random method. There is no advantage in having a 100% chance of being 'eligible' for survival behind a veil of ignorance if you still only have a 50% chance of survival once the veil is lifted. A 100% chance of a 50% chance is still only a 50% chance. We also argue that Harris provides no plausible way of dealing with the criticism that his random method of allocation may result in the squandering of resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-221
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical Ethics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • Health economics
  • QALY
  • Resource allocation

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