Improvidence, Precaution, and the Logical-Empirical Disconnect in UK Health Policy.
The last decade has seen significant developments in UK health policy, with are largely claimed to be evidence based. However, such a characterisation ought, in many cases, to be questioned. Policies can be broadly understood as based primarily on either a logical or empirical case. In the absence of relevant empirical evidence, policymakers understandably appeal to logical cases. Once such evidence is available, however, it can inform policy and enable the logical case to be set aside. Such a linear policy process is not always the reality, and logical cases often continue to guide policy decisions in direct opposition to empirical evidence. In this paper, I discuss two recent examples of this disconnect between logical and empirical cases in UK health policy. The first-organ donation-illustrates an example of a significant policy change being made in opposition to the evidence. I refer to this as the improvidence approach. The second-abortion-provides an example of policymakers not making a change that has extensive supporting data. I refer to this using the more recognisable language of the precautionary approach. Ultimately, I argue that both the improvidence and precautionary approaches are examples of problematic public policy where policymakers provide no explicit justification for going against the evidence.
|Nov 17, 2022
|Dec 26, 2022
|Health Care Analysis
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Improvidence, Precaution, and the Logical-Empirical Disconnect in UK Health Policy.pdf
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