How should different life expectancies be valued?

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7140.1316 (Published 25 April 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1316
  1. Norman Waugh, Director,
  2. David Scott, Project leader
  1. Scottish Health Purchasing Information Centre, Aberdeen AB15 6RE
  2. Scottish Health Purchasing Information Centre

    EDITOR—Commissioners of health care have to decide which of the many possible uses of resources should be given priority, given that we cannot afford everything that might do some good for some people. One way of comparing possible investments is to consider cost per life year gained. Extending life from 3 months to 9 months at a cost of £4000 costs the same per life year gained as extending life by 5 years at a cost of £40 000—namely, £8000. Let's leave quality of …

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