The concept of the quality of life: The medical and the bioethical aspect
The concept of the quality of life initially contained mainly objective indicators. It was only later that it was extended so as to include the subjective ones as well. Upon its transfer from its original medical context into the social sciences, the concept of the quality of life has inspired a new approach to sick persons. It is now acknowledged that it is not enough to merely prolong a life. It also has to meet the standards generally recognized by active, healthy people. In the assessment of the quality of life both objective (state of human health and socio-economic status) and subjective (satisfaction with life and perception of each other) indicators are used. It is used, among other things, to evaluate the effects of medical and non-medical health care and medical intervention. In bioethics, it is noted that the term diminishes the value of human life. The methods used to assess the value of human life based on economic analysis and the measuring of the quality of life can lead to undesirable consequences. Conclusion: on the one hand, the estimation of the quality of life is imminent for various reasons; on the other hand, however, it raises ethical objections.