[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
March 25, 1992

Age-Based Rationing and Women-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Washington Seattle

JAMA. 1992;267(12):1612-1613. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480120050025

In Reply.  —According to Dr Diekema, age-based rationing does not affect women disproportionately because it ensures that both sexes have health care benefits for an equal number of years. However, this approach does not address the problem of how to arrive at a predetermined number of years for which health care benefits are available. Nor does it distinguish between equality of treatment and equality of burden.By the year 2050, for example, it is forecast that women's life expectancy will be 81 years, and men's, 71.8 years.1 If we deny people access to publicly financed health care after age 71.8, this would obviously assume the yardstick of a man's life cycle to measure the opportunities to which women are entitled. Diekema might propose splitting the difference and setting the denial of publicly financed care to begin at age 76.4 years.However, the effect of splitting the difference will not