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QALYs (Quality Adjusted Life Years): a nurse's view.

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  • 1Faculty of Nursing, Deakin University, Australia.


Examines the political and ideological significance of measures of quality of life, specifically Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs). Briefly reviews recent developments in the debate surrounding the economic and political functions of quality of life measures. The dialectic between conceptions of the quality of life and the implicit realpolitik of socio-economic pressures, ecological conditions, political ethos and cultural norms and expectations, is conceived as a powerful means for the critique of our aspirations concerning health. Argues that existing approaches to assessing quality of life, in denying this dialectic, have jeopardized their potential contribution to the planning, implementation and evaluation of health are policy. Resource allocation challenges us to develop openly ideological strategies and measures.

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