This book comprises an attempt to examine how we might set about answering the question: How much is society prepared to pay to reduce mortality: Or more brutally, what is the value of human life? The justification for attempting to answer such questions lies in the desirability of injecting increased explicitness and rationality into decision-making in those areas of the public sector which are con- cerned with life saving. Given that resources are already being deployed to such activities as crash-barriers on motorways, helicopters for air-sea rescue, kidney machines and other life-saving measures – although such activities result only in a reduction in risk of death, not its illimination, in the policy fields affected – this means that already at the present time, at least by implication, values are being placed by decision makers on the saving of life.
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