Healthcare resource allocation in the English courts: a systems theory perspective

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Keith Syrett


judicial review, healthcare, resource allocation, systems theory


Engagement with sociological perspectives can enrich an understanding of medical law and provide a basis for critique of certain of its key premises. Since both law and healthcare are frequently conceptualised and analysed as systems, the theoretical frameworks developed by Niklas Luhmann and Gunther Teubner would seem to offer particular promise in this regard. This article explores a particular area of medical law to which an understanding of the social (and political-economic) context of decision-making is of clear importance – adjudication upon the allocation of scarce resources – in order to identify what insights may be gained from an approach grounded in systems theory.

Abstract 449 | NILQ 70.1.7 Syrett Downloads 215