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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Understanding public perceptions of fairness at a deliberative public engagement event about funding in cancer care Bolduc, Naseeb


In a publicly funded healthcare system, the costs required to meet the needs of all citizens typically exceed the amount of funding available. For this reason, trade-off decisions that prioritize some costs and eliminate others must be made based on what would be fair. Deciding what is fair, however, may sometimes depend on the values and factors considered morally relevant to the citizens. Some jurisdictions use deliberative public engagement events to elicit public opinions about these real trade-off decisions. In many cases, the data from these deliberations is rich with reasoning about why members of the public consider trade-offs to be fair or unfair. While this reasoning about fairness is often analyzed on its own, it has not been compared and contrasted with scholarship in philosophy about fair distributions of resources, in a field known as distributive justice. This study examines a deliberative public engagement event held in Vancouver, B.C. in April 2019, titled Funding Fair and Sustainable Cancer Programs and Services in British Columbia, by using philosophical theories and qualitative methods of analysis to explore if, and how, philosophical theory could be meaningfully related to the way participants of the deliberation reasoned about fairness.

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