Bogus article in _Science_ writes off young, old

Russell Turpin turpin at
Sun Nov 24 10:57:22 EST 1996

Russell Turpin <turpin at> wrote:
>> What public health policy depends on this kind of global measure?

In article <576k0l$mb6 at>,
Camilla Cracchiolo  <camilla at> wrote:
> Infectious disease precautions, for one thing.  

I would very much like an explanation of *how* the kind of measure
under discussion helps one iota in fighting infectious diseases.

>> ...  Since we are NOT going to globally allocate health 
>> resources, an objective criterion is not needed to determine 
>> how to do so.

> Don't tell that to the World Health Organization or the 
> International Planned Parenthood Federation. ...

I think Cracchiolo is missing the point.  Note what I wrote after
her snip.  WHO does NOT require this kind of global measure.  It
can safely go about its business without worrying about the
health problems particular to the first world (e.g., obesity)
because the first world allocates its resources first to its own
problems.  To a large extent, WHO (and similar organizations)
have to get by with what the first world decides to allocate to
it.  The first world's "decision" about how much to fund such
groups is made politically, and is NOT based on global measures
of the sort discussed.  No Western politician is going to say
"globally, more people die of infectious diseases than of CHD, so
we are going to slash *our* health care budget and focus it on
infectious disease."  To the first world, treating CHD caused by
years of high-fat diet is more important (and receives much more
of global health care dollar, most of which comes from the first
world) than is treating infectious disease, even if though the
latter kills more world wide.

Again, if Cracchiolo thinks this kind of global measure is 
useful to WHO, I would like to know precisely how.  I do not 
see it.

 The difference between life and a movie script is that the script has 
 to make sense.         -- Humphrey Bogart

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