Patient Autonomy and Education in Specific Medical Knowledge
Technische Universität Dresden - Department for Business and Economics
August 1, 2010
Dresden Discussion Paper in Economics No. 07/10
The asymmetry between the patient as a layman and the physician as an expert is a key element in health economics. However, a change to a higher degree of patient autonomy has taken place. Furthermore, there is a consensus in a positive correlation between general education and productivity of medical care. This paper focuses on the individual investments of laymen in specific medical education as a decision problem in which the ex-post strategies of the individual are consultation and self-care as imperfect substitutes. It is assumed that specific knowledge increases the self-diagnosis competence (self-protection) and the self-care productivity (self-insurance) as dimensions of autonomy. The analysis is divided into two forms of ex-post decision making according to individual rationality: 1. ambiguity 2. uncertainty. An elaboration of necessary conditions for investments in education is undertaken.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: Patient Autonomy, Education, Self-Care, Ambiguity, Uncertainty
JEL Classification: D01, D80, I12 , I20working papers series
Date posted: August 1, 2010 ; Last revised: January 10, 2011
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