Recommendations from Two Citizens’ Juries on the Surgical Management of Obesity
PA Scuffham, R Krinks, K Chaulkidou, P Littlejohns, JA Whitty, A Wilson, P Burton, E, Kendall
Objectives: The objective of this study is to examine public priorities for government expenditure on the surgical management of obesity developed through either a one or three-day citizen jury.
Subjects/Methods: A three-day jury was held in Brisbane and a one-day jury in Adelaide. Jurors were selected in Brisbane (n = 18) and in Adelaide (n = 12) according to pre-specified criteria. Expert witnesses from various medical disciplines and consumers were cross-examined by jurors.
Results: The verdicts of the juries were similar in that both juries agreed bariatric surgery was an important option in the management of obesity and related comorbidities. Recommendations about who should receive treatment differed slightly across the juries. Both juries rejected the use of age as a rationing tool, but managed their objections in different ways. Participants’ experiences of the jury process were positive, but our observations suggested that many variables may influence the nature of the final verdict.
Conclusions: Citizen’s juries, even when shorter in duration, can be an effective tool to guide the development of health policy and priorities. However, our study has identified a range of variables that should be considered when designing and running a jury and when interpreting the verdict.