Assessing quality of life: Moral implications for clinical practice

Ruth Faden, Alain Leplège

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The purpose of this paper is to examine some of the moral implications for clinical practice of the move toward measuring or assessing quality of life. For purposes of this presentation, discussions of the good life or quality of life have at least two “conceptual” preconditions. First is biologic life; second is a minimum cognitive apparatus to attach meaning to life (or a capacity for self-awareness). Quality of life measurement in clinical care has three principal uses: screening, monitoring, and decisionmaking. The paper discusses how increasing reliance on quality of life measures is potentially morally appealing in all these cases, but also how moral “downsides” may be created that should be recognized and confronted with appropriate moral constraints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)MS166-MS175
JournalMedical care
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1992


  • Health status assessment
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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