Calculating qalys: Liberalism and the value of health states

Economics and Philosophy 33 (2):259-285 (2017)
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The value of health states is often understood to depend on their impact on the goodness of people's lives. As such, prominent health states metrics are grounded in particular conceptions of wellbeing – e.g. hedonism or preference satisfaction. In this paper, I consider how liberals committed to the public justification requirement – the requirement that public officials choose laws and policies that are justifiable to their citizens – should evaluate health states. Since the public justification requirement prohibits public officials from appealing to controversial conceptions of the good life, liberals committed to this principle face a significant puzzle.

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Douglas MacKay
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


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