Document Type : Commentary
Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Waitzberg and colleagues’ participants articulate a wide range of strategies to manage tensions between clinical and economic obligations. There are, however, three notable absences in the data. First, all strategies described by participants are underpinned by the assumption that clinical (and associated administrative) practices need to either align with economic considerations or be made more compatible with them. Second, the dual agency dilemma was framed exclusively as existing at the level of the health care institution, with little attention paid to obligations to broader health systems. Third, there was no evidence of critical questioning of the priorities of the hospitals in which participants work. These absences do not render the strategies used by Weitzberg and colleagues’ participants morally “wrong,” but they do suggest that people who are deeply embedded in a system might fail to recognise the full range of moral concerns and moral possibilities.