International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY TALKING ABOUT “VALUE(S)”? A REPLY TO SAARNI ET AL.

Kathrin Denglera1 and Uta Bittnera2

a1 email: kathrin.dengler@uni-ulm.de

a2 Institute of the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany

In their article “Different methods for ethical analysis in health technology assessment: An empirical study” published in International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, Volume 27 Number 4, Samuli I. Saarni, Annette Braunack-Mayer, Bjørn Hofmann, and Gert Jan van der Wilt present an empirical study about different methods for ethical analysis in health technology assessment (HTA). They claim that ethical analysis is an important issue which can highlight values inherent in a technology and value-decisions underlying a HTA process (4). Although their study is rich in detail; gives an interesting overview of casuistry, principlism, and axiological ethic frameworks; and make ethical evaluations within HTA more transparent, we suppose, one important point needs further serious discussion: the clarification of what is meant by “value.”