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Forsch Komplementmed. 2007 Dec;14 Suppl 2:2-9. doi: 10.1159/0000112202. Epub 2008 Jan 7.

Complementary medicine: equity issues in evaluation and policy-making.

Author information

1
Institute for Complementary Medicine KIKOM, University of Bern, Switzerland. florence.marian@kikom.unibe.ch

Abstract

The increasing use and practice of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) all over the world raises important ethical issues for health care providers, researchers and policy-makers. This article addresses the equity issues arising in the context of an evaluation of five complementary therapies provided by general practitioners: homeopathy, anthroposophic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, neural therapy and phytotherapy. The evaluation was commissioned by the Swiss government in order to provide scientific data to make a policy decision about including these disciplines in basic insurance coverage, if provided by physicians. Both the research process and the related health policy raise a number of equity issues that are explored and further discussed on the basis of Daniels' and Sabin's criteria for fair decision-making as defined in their 'accountability for reasonableness' approach. Combining the lessons learnt from the case study with current approaches to fairness in decision-making and priority-setting, propositions are made in order to increase awareness for transparency and fairness in CAM-related evaluations and policy.

PMID:
18219204
DOI:
10.1159/000112202
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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