Chapter 8Medical Decision-Making: An Application to Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

Andrea C. Hupman1 and Ali E. Abbas2

1 Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA

2 Industrial and Systems Engineering, Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

This is the first of three chapters that focus on real-world applications of decision and risk analysis. In this chapter, the main technical methods used are multiattribute utility theory and decision tree analysis. These are classical decision analysis topics that would have been familiar to practitioners 30 years ago, but in this chapter they are applied to the challenging domain of valuing risks to life and health and trading them off against the pleasure derived from consumption. Chapters 9 and 10 consider applications of decision and risk analysis to building and defending resilient infrastructures and defending against attacks by terrorists or other intelligent adversaries. All three chapters emphasize the practical applicability of decision and risk analysis methods to important decisions that are often made without the benefit of such formal methods and that can potentially be made better with them.

Introduction

What comes to mind when you hear the term “medical decision-making?” Common answers include hospitals, doctors, shots, ...

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