Why Bariatric surgery should be given high priority: an argument from law and morality

Health Care Anal. 2014 Dec;22(4):305-24. doi: 10.1007/s10728-012-0216-1.


In recent years, bariatric surgery has become an increasingly popular treatment of obesity. The amount of resources spent on this kind of surgery has led to a heated debate among health care professionals and the general public, as each procedure costs at minimum $14,500 and thousands of patients undergo surgery every year. So far, no substantial argument for or against giving this treatment a high priority has, however, been presented. In this article, I argue that regardless which moral perspective we consider--greatest need, utility or personal responsibility--the conclusion is that we should give bariatric surgery a high priority when allocating scarce resources in health care.

MeSH terms

  • Bariatric Surgery* / ethics
  • Health Priorities*
  • Humans
  • Jurisprudence*
  • Morals*
  • Obesity* / psychology
  • Obesity* / surgery
  • Resource Allocation