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How Much is a Year of your Life Worth?

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posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 05:22 PM
I have to say I have been somewhat skeptical of a value being placed on a life and expecting health care givers just to role over and play dead. Most hospitals have ethics committees that oversee these issues. Now with all the talk about BO's health plan, euthansia and the possibility of a value being placed on life I happened find the report below.

QALY=Quality Adjusted Life Year

If you are under the impression that it is impossible to calculate the value of a human life, you are obviously not a progressive policy expert or health care bureaucrat. This calculation, so elusive for philosophers and sages throughout the millennia, is child's play for such people. They have, in fact, already devised a formula for pricing out your life. It is called the "quality-adjusted-life-year" (QALY), and it assigns a numerical value to a year of life. A year of perfect health, for example, is given a value of 1.0 while a year of sub-optimum health is rated between 0 and 1. If you are confined to a wheelchair, a year of your life might be valued at half that of your ambulatory neighbor. If you are blind or deaf, you also score low. All that remains is to assign a specific dollar value to the QALY and, voilà, your life has a price tag.


And, lest you imagine that QALY is mere academic concept unlikely to be applied in the real world, it is already being used in countries burdened with socialized medicine. In Great Britain, for example, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) uses "cost per QALY" to determine if patients should receive expensive treatment or drugs. It was with this formula that NICE calculated the precise amount six months of an average Brit's life is worth. As the Wall Street Journal reports, "NICE currently holds that, except in unusual cases, Britain cannot afford to spend more than about $22,000 to extend a life by six months." In other words, patients whose country has guaranteed them "free" health care are in some cases refused treatment because the incremental cost per additional QALY is too high.

Do you guys from the UK know if this about it?

This paper from the Oxford Journal says it has been effect for 30 years


The quality-adjusted life year (QALY) is a measure of disease burden, including both the quality and the quantity of life lived[1][2][3]. It is used in assessing the value for money of a medical intervention. The QALY model requires utility independent, risk neutral, and constant proportional tradeoff behaviour[4].

The QALY is based on the number of years of life that would be added by the intervention. Each year in perfect health is assigned the value of 1.0 down to a value of 0.0 for death. If the extra years would not be lived in full health, for example if the patient would lose a limb, or be blind or be confined to a wheelchair, then the extra life-years are given a value between 0 and 1 to account for this.

And as I have now researched a little more, I am wondering if insurance companies in the US use this standard now.

posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 05:49 PM
reply to post by liveandlearn

S&F !!!

For some time now, the folks supporting Obama care have stated that universal coverage is the pinnacle of western civilization, and that any caring compassionate country (with the exception of the US) has socialized medicine.

My arguement was that our quality of care would decrease. And the fact that I am 46, that I am close to being "behind the curve" in terms of my care.
I have invoked the movie, "Soylent Green" on numerous occasions as part joke part sad sick reality.

Thank you for providing startling evidence to the debate concerning universal healthcare. I would be curious to find out how many in the US have knowlege of this.

It is definitely something they would not like known.

posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 06:08 PM
reply to post by mikerussellus

Well, I am in the health care field and this is the first I heard of it.

I am in my early 60's, without health insurance until medicare kicks in and I can see how these adjustments are going to be made for medicare as well as private insurance companies down the road, if they are not in place already. Scares the bejesus out of me. Fortunately I have extraordinary good health but I have a daughter who is insulin dependent diabetic, history of breast cancer, now hypothyroid plus many other ailments. Where will these people fit in?

I think we have to take responsibility for our health more than ever, seek alternative treatment and stay healthy.

I recall BO saying in some cases a person would have surgery while another may be given a pill. This is what he was talking about.

posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 06:37 PM
reply to post by liveandlearn

My wife and I are both in the field as well, shes an RN, and neither of us have ever heard of this.

You're right though, time to start relying on ourselves, because I'm damn sure not going to rely on the government.

Take care. . .


posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 02:58 PM
I recently received a video and thought not more fearmongering and as the speaker began to talk that is exactly what I thought until about 4 plus minutes into the 8 minute video. Some things were stated that raised my eyebrows. You Tube Video It goes along with QALY mentioned above.

Wall Street Journal Opinon article

The assault against seniors began with the stimulus package in February. Slipped into the bill was substantial funding for comparative effectiveness research, which is generally code for limiting care based on the patient’s age. Economists are familiar with the formula, where the cost of a treatment is divided by the number of years (called QALYs, or quality-adjusted life years) that the patient is likely to benefit. In Britain, the formula leads to denying treatments for older patients who have fewer years to benefit from care than younger patients.

And this suggests that limiting coverage to seniors could indeed be part of the plan.

Nevertheless, Medicare is running out of money. The problem is the number of seniors compared with the smaller number of workers supporting the system with payroll taxes. To remedy the problem, the Congressional Budget Office has suggested inching up the eligibility age one month per year until it reaches age 70 in 2043, or asking wealthy seniors to pay more

The article and video is by Betsy McCaughey. I have checked her out and find she was once Lt. Gov or New York and has a website devoted to Hospital Acquired Infections. I think we can believe what she is saying.

posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 01:28 PM
reply to post by liveandlearn

...I am wondering if insurance companies in the US use this standard now.

No doubt. My own research is limited to a specific disease but shows that public and private insurance around the world is in alignment - no doubt because they use the same re-insurance companies. ...I have an epigenetic disease called fibromuscular dysplasia triggered in me by an anaphylactic reaction to penicillin when I was about 5 years-old. Long story short, got involved on the net with several international 'self-help' groups, all of us looking for more info. We compared notes on insurance coverage and terms - and they sucked universally. Lots of catch-22's, benign neglect and non-coverage.

As far as QALY goes - it certainly sets the stage for easy implementation of Eugenics policies, doesn't it?

posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 02:24 PM
reply to post by liveandlearn

Well, in Beer money I'd guess about $2289.73 US currency.

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