Traditionally, health economics have been orientated on the question as to how the limited resources should be allocated, on the efficiency criterion. The limited resources should be used in such a way that the additionally achievable health in the population is maximised. The increased health benefits (life expectance, quality of life) are the factor to is maximised. A purely efficency-orientated allocation of resources can, however, have a strong distribution effect that would be considered as unfair and unjust by many people and consequently not be accepted. In the meantime there is a body of empirical data evidence about the alternatives or additional criteria that are important for members of the population in the assesment of utility of medical interventions. Three of these possible criteria are discussed as examples here. Although the improvement in health is an important, perhaps even central criterion, a poor state of health, a limited health potential as well as other personal factors for the afflicted patient may, in part considerably, compensante for the achievable improvement in health. Systems for the evaluation of utility that will be accepted and supported by the general public must in future take into consideration the various explicit factors of the societal and individual benefits of health-care interventions and balance their relative importances.