Monday, August 31, 2015

"All lives have equal value"

Ross Bell of the New Zealand Drug Foundation, has written a column in today's DomPost about doing more to stop drug overdoses by increasing availability and access to Naloxone, an injectable drug which can reverse an overdose.  Bell loses me with this sentence,

"Our failure to realize all lives have equal value has meant that until now we have failed to prevent unnecessary deaths."

Someone who takes risks with their own life daily by putting dangerous doses of drugs into their bodies by definition values his or her own life less than most. If Bell is arguing for public funding of Naloxone, the debate about lives and relative value will be invoked.

Health is rationed. Funding is limited. Hospitals already practice rationing and age plays a big part. In the health system all lives do not have equal value.

(But I'd have no problem with families of addicts or alcoholics purchasing the Naloxone for emergencies. It is available in New Zealand.)


Mark Hubbard said...

And I'd also want to know the circumstances of the overdoses where this is being cited for. If they are, say, attempted 'euthanasias' because we don't have the necessary law in this area, then do these overdose cases 'want' to come back.

Note I'm not assuming anything here, I have no idea of overdose stats: would love to see breakdown by age, if possible, circumstances, drug being used, etc.

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