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We can take the pricelessness of human life to mean that the social worth of an individual (their social status or contribution to the national economy) should be completely irrelevant when it comes to determining how much society should spend to save or prolong that individual's life in the face of a life-threatening illness or accident--a worthy moral principle.
However, if we couple this belief with that third sense of the pricelessness of human life, the results are morally and economically disastrous.
The problems posed by pricey medical innovation combined with a belief in the pricelessness of human life began with the passage of the 1972 End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) amendments to the Medicare program.
(6) That Congress got the numbers wrong is excusable; that it endorsed the rhetoric of the pricelessness of human life is intolerable.
Third, pricelessness, a characteristic of personal acts of altruism, implies nonncommensurability with monetary donations, and poses a difficulty for efficiency analysis.
Volunteering may be a way of restoring dignity to an act of exchange by in troducing an element of "pricelessness."
A new "socio-economic rat ionality" would recognize nonconsequentialist reasons, constitutive choices, pricelessness, nonrational motivation, and community preference production.
With regard to the rationality of altruistic volunteering, it is noteworthy that both the notion of pricelessness and of community preference production involve something like a meta-preference for participating in the development of community.
The ultimate legitimation for its price is its pricelessness.
The commentary exemplifies the traditional Jewish view that three central values are imputed by the Biblical account of creation to every human life: pricelessness, uniqueness, and equality.
Yet the challenge to equality, like the challenges to pricelessness and uniqueness, is also conceptually no greater than challenges we already face.
Yet resolving this dissonance decisively in either direction seems costly: it would clearly be dishonest to call fetal tissue worthless when it can be used to cure devastating illness, but to attribute its pricelessness to its therapeutic value just as clearly risks depreciation of the fetus in terms of any inherent value.