, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 305-324
Date: 13 Jul 2012

Why Bariatric Surgery Should be Given High Priority: An Argument from Law and Morality

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Abstract

In recent years, bariatric surgery has become an increasingly popular treatment of obesity. The amount of resources spent on this kind of surgery has led to a heated debate among health care professionals and the general public, as each procedure costs at minimum $14,500 and thousands of patients undergo surgery every year. So far, no substantial argument for or against giving this treatment a high priority has, however, been presented. In this article, I argue that regardless which moral perspective we consider—greatest need, utility or personal responsibility—the conclusion is that we should give bariatric surgery a high priority when allocating scarce resources in health care.