Peter Singer on Health Care

The ever controversial philosopher, Peter Singer has opined his view that we need to reform health care and fast.

You have advanced kidney cancer. It will kill you, probably in the next year or two. A drug called Sutent slows the spread of the cancer and may give you an extra six months, but at a cost of $54,000. Is a few more months worth that much?

If you can afford it, you probably would pay that much, or more, to live longer, even if your quality of life wasn’t going to be good. But suppose it’s not you with the cancer but a stranger covered by your health-insurance fund. If the insurer provides this man — and everyone else like him — with Sutent, your premiums will increase. Do you still think the drug is a good value? Suppose the treatment cost a million dollars. Would it be worth it then? Ten million? Is there any limit to how much you would want your insurer to pay for a drug that adds six months to someone’s life? If there is any point at which you say, “No, an extra six months isn’t worth that much,” then you think that health care should be rationed.

Interesting way of giving a utilitarian argument for reforming health care.

About shaunmiller

I have just completed a visiting position as an assistant professor at Dalhousie University. My ideas are not associated with my employer; they are expressions of my own thoughts and ideas. Some of them are just musings while others could be serious discussions that could turn into a bigger project. Besides philosophy, I enjoy martial arts (Kuk Sool Won), playing my violin, enjoying coffee around town, and experimenting with new food.
This entry was posted in Health, Peter Singer, Utilitarianism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Peter Singer on Health Care

  1. Kevin says:

    Damn good article. Too bad that very few people are listening to the actual facts and that congress is actually giving more credit to what Sara Palin has to say. When will the Democrats learn that you don’t have to please stupid people. If people don’t want to get the actual facts and make a legitimate argument about policy or content, and would rather just call people nazis, then they don’t need to be considered. It’s called democracy, if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain.

  2. shaunmiller says:

    Peter Singer again discusses how we already ration health care in a CNN interview.

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