Theory and Decision

, Volume 76, Issue 4, pp 451–467 | Cite as

Helping patients and physicians reach individualized medical decisions: theory and application to prenatal diagnostic testing

  • Edi KarniEmail author
  • Moshe Leshno
  • Sivan Rapaport


This paper presents a procedure designed to aid physicians and patients in the process of making medical decisions, and illustrates its implementation to aid pregnant women, who decided to undergo prenatal diagnostic test choose a physician to administer it. The procedure is based on a medical decision-making model of Karni (J Risk Uncertain 39: 1–16, 2009). This model accommodates the possibility that the decision maker’s risk attitudes may vary with her state of health and incorporates other costs, such as pain and inconvenience, associated with alternative treatments. The medical decision problem was chosen for its relative simplicity and the transparency it affords.


Medical decision making Prenatal diagnostic testing  CVS Amniocentesis 

JEL Classification

I19 D81 



We are grateful to Peter Wakker for his useful comments and suggestions.

Supplementary material

11238_2013_9379_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (141 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (pdf 141 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of ManagementTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  3. 3.Columbia Business SchoolColumbia UniversityManhattanUSA

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