Bogus article in _Science_ writes off young, old

Camilla Cracchiolo camilla at primenet.com
Fri Nov 22 07:47:01 EST 1996


These kinds of things always bug me.  If you think what those guys are
saying is bad, I think it's an improvement over current proposals to
calculate the worth of a life by lifetime earnings.  This means that *by
definition* the life of a rich person is worth more than that of a poor
person, whole racial groups lives are worth less than others, women's
lives are worth less than men's, etc.

We do have to come up with some objective criteria to base public
health policy on, though.  I don't necessarily agree with the way these
guys went about it, but when we look at the whole world and not just the
industrialized nations, ischemic heart disease is probably far down on the
list of health problems.  Many folks in the third world don't live long
enough to die of heart disease.  And disability matters a LOT there: if an
adult is not well enough to work, their whole family may starve to death.

I have to confess that I'm shocked that malaria is so low on their list,
though.  

--
   "The trick is to keep an open mind, without it being so open
                      that your brain falls out."

                        Camilla Cracchiolo, RN   

    camilla at primenet.com            http://www.primenet.com/~camilla

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