Boston University School of Law
The rapid growth of medical technology gives rise to difficult dilemmas concerning the appropriateness of, and access to, new equipment and devices capable of maintaining life or improving its quality. Such a dilemma already exists, for example, with regard to kidney dialysis machines. In 1972, Congress amended the Social Security Act to make such machines available under Medicare to all who needed them. But almost immediately the overwhelming cost of such equipment-in the billions of dollars-made the original appropriations totally inadequate, and prompted serious questions of whether access to kidney dialysis should be made available at public expense-and, if so, to whom.
George J. Annas,
Allocation of Artificial Hearts in the Year 2002: Minerva v. National Health Agency,
American Journal of Law & Medicine
Available at: https://scholarship.law.bu.edu/faculty_scholarship/1221