Values Based Health Care: The Fundamentals of Ethical Decision-Making

Author: David Seedhouse


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  • ISBN: 9780470847350
  • Author: David Seedhouse
  • Publ Date: 2005-08-19
  • Edition:
  • Pages: 184
  • Imprint: WILEY *#
  • Status: ACT
  • ID - 5834

Table of Contents :

About the Author. Preface. Acknowledgements. Introduction. PART ONE: MR SPOCK'S MISTAKE. Chapter One: The Limits of Reason. Chapter Two: The Dominance of Values. PART TWO: THE BIG PICTURE. Chapter Three: The Truth about Relativism. Chapter Four: How to Turn Values into Evidence. Chapter Five: Goodbye Ethics Experts - The Democratic Promise of Values-Based Decision-Making. Epilogue. References. Index.


We have lost the balance between evidence and values. Technical aspects of decision--making dominate every social sphere: health professionals rely on formulae to decide who to treat, educators are funded according to outputs, businesses employ statisticians to tell them how much they need to spend on safety, while governments use algorithms to work out whether to go to war. Human values lay behind absolutely everything we do, and yet we treat them as if they don't matter. In this highly original and readable book, David Seedhouse describes the history of the evidence--values gap and illuminates the fundamental importance of values in human problem--solving. He advocates values--based decision--making as a much--needed means of restoring balance to social planning, and explains how information technology can be used to turn values into evidence. The potential of values--based decision--making is huge and exciting. The final chapter of this seminal work points the way to a democratic future in which everyone's values can be seen and heard, regardless of technical knowledge or social status. Values--Based Decision--Making using examples drawn primarily from the health field, will be of considerable interest to all health professionals. However, because its reach extends into all arenas of human decision--making, everyone who makes plans on behalf of other people should read the book.


"...valuable as it allows the reader to closely examine the various methods by which decisions can be made..." (Doody's Health Services)

Author Biography:

David Seedhouse is a truly original thinker and prolific author, highly regarded by health practitioners, teachers and students alike. Though David has a background in philosophy, his work is always focused on solving practical problems. Professor Seedhouse is best know for his writing on health and ethics, yet his work straddles many areas of social, philosophical and political concern. He has written or edited 14 books and produced over 200 book chapters, journal papers and other articles. His library includes the highly successful editions of Health: The Foundations for Achievement and Ethics: The Heart of Healthcare; the full list of his titles is given at the back of this book. His primary interest no lies in the development of software to enable transparent decision-making in healthcare, local democracy, schools and other social settings. The considerable practical impact of David's work can be seen - and engaged with - at David is Professor of Health and Social Ethics at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand (where he directs the National Centre for Health and Social Ethics) and Professor of Health Care Analysis at Middlesex University, London. He is CEO of VIDe Ltd - - and a popular keynote conference speaker internationally.


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