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n. requirement or necessity. In the context of health care and medical ethics, a distinction is often made between needs and wants. As such, for the purpose of allocating limited health-care resources, clinical need is often defined as the capacity to benefit from an intervention, as opposed to merely the lack of it, and assessed on a utilitarian basis (see quality of life). However, there are other conceptions of need, such as the state of requiring rescue from a life-threatening situation.

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