Value Choices in Summary Measures of Population Health

Public Health Ethics
Volume 10, Issue 2  July 2017

Symposium on Daniel Hausman’s Valuing Health: Well-Being, Freedom and Suffering
Original Articles
Value Choices in Summary Measures of Population Health
Andrew Schroeder
Summary measures of health, such as the quality-adjusted life year and disability-adjusted life year, have long been known to incorporate a number of value choices. In this paper, though, I show that the value choices in the construction of such measures extend far beyond what is generally recognized. In showing this, I hope both to improve the understanding of those measures by epidemiologists, health economists and policy-makers, and also to contribute to the general debate about the extent to which such measures should be adjusted to reflect ethical values.