How much is one year of your life worth?

According to the government in Great Britain, it is $45,000.

The British single-payer system arrived at the price of an additional year of life in the same way they decide how much health care all British people will get, through a formula called “quality-adjusted life years.”

The Obama administration has a key health care advisor named Dr. Ezekial Emanuel. If the name is familiar, it is because he is the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Earlier this year, Dr. Emanuel wrote an article that advocated what he called “the complete lives system” as a method for rationing health care.

This system would help the government allocate healthcare based on the societal worth of the patient. The system would also consider prognosis of the patient.

Based on this, the very young and the very old would receive less care since the very young have received less societal investment and the very old have less left to contribute. The system would also consider prognosis of the patient.

When fully implemented, Dr. Emanuel’s system, in his words, “produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated.” In other words, the young and old will not get the healthcare needed.

To quote Dr. Emanuel: “A young person with a poor prognosis has had few life-years but lacks the potential to live a complete life. Considering prognosis forestalls the concern that disproportionately large amounts of resources will be directed to young people with poor prognosis.”

Read Dr. Eziekiel Emanuel’s article in The Lancet HERE