Sunday, December 13, 2009
Rationing is Ethical
This is what I'm talking about. Allocate our finite resources in such a way that they bring our whole country the greatest benefits. It is completely detrimental and unsustainable to keep spending huge amounts of our resources at the end of life. I want my tax dollars and insurance premiums to result in the greatest possible increase in quality-adjusted life-years, though I understand the inherent subjectivity in determining how to measure or weigh "quality". Even ignoring quality and focusing on life-years would be a vast improvement over our current system. $80,000 of Avastin for a few more months of life? That money could lead to dozens or scores of extra life-years if spent elsewhere. If we, as a country, invested more in childhood nutrition, health education, and smoking cessation instead of pharmaceutical and biotech companies, we would have greater national health and longer, happier lives.