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Paul Krugman: Patients Are Not Consumers

I keep encountering discussions of health economics in which patients are referred to as “consumers”, after which the usual mantra of freedom of choice is invoked on behalf of voucherizing Medicare, or whatever.

We used to know better than this.

Medical care is an area in which crucial decisions — life and death decisions — must be made; yet making those decisions intelligently requires a vast amount of specialized knowledge; and often those decisions must also be made under conditions in which the patient is incapacitated, under severe stress, or needs action immediately, with no time for discussion, let alone comparison shopping.

Paul Krugman’s blog: The Conscience of a Liberal

Source: New York Times, 4/20/11

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