‘Shouldn’t we be doing this study in Africa where there are no masks, no treatment, no intensive care, a little bit like we did in certain AIDS studies or with prostitutes?’ Dr. Jean-Paul Mira.
This seems so convincing right ? Let's try to figure out how Dr. Jean-Paul Mira think about the value of human life.
Philosophers among history asked that question, what is the value of life? How can we make our moral decisions ? As a doctor in Italy why would you take off the ventilator for old guy just to save a younger girl ? Can we put a price for the human life ?
Philosophers disagreed about if all human lives have the same value (the sanctity of life), if the life of the beggar have the same value with the life of a physician or politician or it depends on the quality of life the person has.
From an economical point of view there is VSL (The value of a statistical life) which is the local trade off rate between fatality risk and money, Estimates of the VSL for the United States are around $10 million ($2017), and estimates for other countries are generally lower.(source)
According to the Lasker Foundation, a dozen or so studies since the mid-1970s have found the value for human life is in the range of $3 to $7 million dollars, using many different methodologies. in 2000, Murphy and Topel at the University of Chicago drew this chart showing the value of human life at every age.
This explain why we think that younger people have the right of benefiting from the limited number of ventilators more than older people, but why does Jean-Paul Mira think that the test of medicines should be on African people not on the older people from Europe ?
The answer is citizenship bias the phenomenon is primarily viewed from a social psychology standpoint. Studies have shown that in-group favoritism arises as a result of the formation of cultural groups.
The quality of life in Africa is worse than Europe, and the lives of my group is more important than other groups, this thought came from believing of the superiority which can lead the doctors like Jean-Paul Mira to prefer their own lives above the lives of the others.
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