16 de febrer 2012

Les desigualtats justes

What does the empirical evidence tell us about the injustice of health inequalities?

En alguna ocasió he comentat que hi ha una indústria en l'anàlisi de les desigualtats en salut. Hi ha una producció continuada que no se sap ben bé on va ni quines implicacions pràctiques aporta, fins i tot és desconeix el consumidor de la recerca.
Hi ha una part necessària i fonamental de l'anàlisi que passa per la descripció, però el salt entre saber i què fer amb el que sabem és crucial. I aquí entren els mecanismes de causalitat, quines d'aquelles desigualtats són "injustes" i cal corregir. L'Angus Deaton ha fet un paper per posar ordre a les idees, cosa que s'agraeix, i diu:
Facts and correlations, without an understanding of causation, are neither sufficient to guide policy nor to make ethical judgments. Without getting causation right, there is no guarantee that interventions will not be harmful. It is also possible that an inequality that might seem to be prima facie unjust might actually be the consequence of a deeper mechanism that is in part benevolent, or that is unjust in a different way.
Després repassa diferents factors, origen, edat, sexe, raça, status socioeconòmic, etc. Destaco, especialment per a entusiastes:
The health inequalities literature frequently argues that differences in incomes cause health differences, a position that I have argued is largely mistaken. A related but different view is that differences in income are themselves a risk factor for the level of health (as well as for the levels of other good social outcomes), so that the rich as well as the poor are hurt by large income differences
I la seva conclusió:
Health inequalities are a matter of great moral concern. But whether we see them as an injustice, and whether and how we design policy to correct them, depends on how they come about. In this essay, I have argued that childhood inequalities are the key to understanding much of the evidence, and that public interventions would do well to focus on breaking or weakening the injustice of parental circumstances determining child outcomes. Among adults, the main priority should be the design of schemes that prevent the impoverishment that can come from ill-health, through loss of the ability to work, or through the costs of treatment.
Resta molt per fer i encara més per reconduir.

PS. Podeu consultar el Martmot Indicators aquí