Welfare, Welfarism, and Extrawelfarism

Decisions need to be made when there are at least two alternatives to choose from. Like other decision making, medical decision making is about making such choices between alternatives. To do so in a rational, systematic, and optimal way, a decision-making framework must be developed, which stipulates how we should evaluate the different options. This first of all requires a definition of what exactly it is that we are seeking to improve by making optimal decisions, that is, the underlying goal of our decisions, and what it is that will be lost if we fail to do so. In economics, this underlying maximand has normally been labeled welfare, hence the term welfare economics. In essence, welfare economics is concerned with defining optimal allocations of scarce ...

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