This article considers 2 types of standard by which health technology assessment (HTA) studies should be judged: Methodological and social. Methodological desiderata specify characteristics of a good quality analysis and should be met regardless of context. Transparency about an HTA study's perspective (eg, specifying whose costs and whose benefits from an intervention should be counted) is one such desideratum. Whether any particular perspective is the right one is, by contrast, contingent upon conditions in which the analysis is to be applied. A perspective ought always to be treated as context sensitive. Recently, it has been advocated that an HTA study's perspective should always be "societal" (ie, including consequences, good or bad, for anyone affected in any way by a technology's use). This article argues that this is a mistake, ethically attractive though it might appear.
Culyer, A. J. (2021). “perspectives” in health technology assessment. AMA Journal of Ethics. American Medical Association. https://doi.org/10.1001/AMAJETHICS.2021.619
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