Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
SCHRAMM, Fermin Roland and ESCOSTEGUY, Claudia Caminha. Bioethics and health care technology assessment. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2000, vol.16, n.4, pp. 951-961. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2000000400014.
The simultaneous existence of a biotechnoscientific paradigm (which emphasizes technological incorporation) and a culture of limits (which selects technologies) challenges current health systems, raising ethical and political discussions as to the choices to be made. Health care technology assessment is mainly concerned with the consequences of health care and health care policies. Thus, there is significant overlap between this activity and bioethics, even though they are different fields of knowledge. Although the importance of ethical and social issues arising in technology assessment has been recognized, most publications emphasize only methodological and scientific aspects. There are different interests involved in technological incorporation, and many value conflicts arise. Ethical implications include those related to clinical trials, medical care assessment, incorporation of technology, resource allocation, equity, and the effectiveness gap. Incorporating the ethical dimension into technology assessment will foster a better understanding of health care practice and progress in its improvement.
Keywords : Bioethics; Biomedical Technology Assessment; Quality of Health Care.