AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. February 2005, Volume 7, Number 02

Ethics Poll

Quality of Life: Who's to Judge?

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

Quality-of-life instruments use a 0 to 1 scale where 0 equals death or conditions worse than death and 1 equals full health. Using this scale, how would you rank living with paraplegia?
Do you think it is useful to solicit numerical quality-of-life assessments from patients for the purposes of clinical decision making?
For purposes of Medicaid coverage, a state is deciding how to rank the importance of a given intervention for a chronic disease. Those asked to rate the improvement in quality of life the intervention confers should be:
Do you think it is useful to use numerical quality-of-life assessments to inform policy decisions concerning allocation of health care resources?
Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of Virtual Mentor readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.