This multi-award winning channel produces programmes made by volunteers trained by the charity WORLDwrite

Subscribe to our podcasts using your preferred service:

Help with our podcasts

The View On The Streets: Should a price be put on life?


The View On The Streets: Should a price be put on life?

Innovations in clinical practice, drugs and other technologies can improve the quality and extent of patients’ lives – but they are often expensive.  With budget cuts looming, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has been charged with helping the government to decide which treatments are sufficiently cost effective to be made available on the NHS.  But for those facing life threatening illnesses, can a price be put on life?  We ask the public whether medicine should be rationed due to its price and denied according to your lifestyle.  For many, this is an affront to the value of human life and most argue that medicine should not be rationed even it only gives us a few more weeks life. Lifestyle however is a different ball game and sadly the idea that healthcare should be rationed for smokers, drinkers and the obese is gaining ground.

Recommended links:

Related topics: Economy, Science Progress

Subscribe to our newsletter


Leave a comment now

Mukthadir Ali said:

I learned from this on how might the public live there lives, it is up to us on how we live our lives for example if the public are eating more healthy food or just binging on junk food, maybe the public should think more carefully about which lifestyle they are willing to pay.So I think a price should be put on life.

Jermaine Gedeon said:

When will people realise that, ‘the world is a business and businesses rule the world.’ Not politicians or governments. Their role in society is mainly to represent the interests of multinational businesses- not the opinions and views of the inhabitants of a nation state. Deep down we know this, which can explain the trend in the increases of voter’s apathy. There are many relevant examples that exist, to support the idea that governments only intervene in other countries to secure markets or protect their private business interest. Look particularly at the UK and USA and you will find many examples, as they are the former and present, most powerful empires the world has seen. All that nonsense about civilising missions, giving humanitarian aid and spreading democracy have been their USP to their citizens.

Health, Food and shelter remain the most important elements for the survival of human beings. If we have accepted the notion of using money to acquire houses and food, shouldn’t we pay whatever it cost to save our health? This also begs the question, isn’t money the most important element to the survival of human beings? Looking at the globalized capitalised economy the elites have created, and what, we have accepted as a perfect form of organising the world. It shouldn’t be a surprise that, money somehow has become an instrumental part of the survival of human beings, when in reality money cannot make good health, it cannot make food, and it cannot build houses. Its human beings who drive these core elements for our survival, yet we must acquire money to meet our needs. How sad is that? When will we wake up and realise that money is debt, most of us do not even know how it is made, who makes it, who benefits and what purpose it serves. These are questions people should be seeking answers to.

Pharmaceutical giant companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Shire Plc and AstraZeneca have the technology available for the production of large scale drugs that would improve the ordinary citizen’s life. Nonetheless, in the spirit of accumulating PROFITS, making these important drugs scares remains an important goal. (This point could even connect to population control measures for fanatics of eugenics). They know that there will always be a high demand for life saving drugs, therefore justifying their high astronomical prices. This is sick and disgusting. The government should be subsidising these companies if it really cost too much to produce large scale drugs that would save people. Not starting a PR and marketing campaign to introduce rationing or even thinking of putting the NHS to private hands.

Stephenen said:

to be blunt how can any one put a price on some one life its ridiculous at the fact that them plebs in parliment get to decide if some one gets to live or die its utter ballsh*t how can you justify this why should any one decide wether peaple get to live or die because some silly twat in parliment says there aint enough money to help peaple but thay can spend money on war like send our troops to places like afganistan and iraq and i know this is true because my friend was sent to iraq and was killed a week befor his 21st and for what so our other boys get killed by ieds&suicide bombers because some twat says so and to be honest why should we and lets face it all this goverment wants to do is line there pocket with more money thay really should start thinking about how to help peaple who need it and less about themselfs for once

Stephanie said:

Where there is life there is hope, a very wise person taught me that and it is one of the best things I ever learned. I have researched addictions for a school project and it hurt to truly discover the extent of the damage not only to the body but to the family and most important the person. Every one has a right to live to the best of our ability, live is priceless and you can’t, just can’t put a price on that. Economically speaking, the reward is precious because you can always find the resources to save lives. If the government can afford to fight wars, con the country on expenses and give themselves and their family private healthcare, why can’t we? Everyone has a person that loves them and regardless they are a person and deserve to be treated as such, not a static. To those critics, could you honestly let a person you love die because of money? Would you say to doctors, yes let them die because there is not enough money/resources to save them. I don’t think anyone could, picture a person you love and say that! No one could so why should a minority decide who lives and who dies. This is one of the most heartbreaking and immoral practises in this country and the fact that we just let it continue, we should be ashamed of ourselves. To those that want this change I feel sickened and sorry for you. What happened in your life to make you so cruel, so heartless? What made you lose your humanity? With this regime I lost a very precious person in my life, several actually because the NHS decided to save money, tell me how is that right? I could understand, I would not like it, if it saved others lives but it does not. What does ‘our’ NHS pay for, what does it provide? A sub standard health service and it is getting to that point where private companies will take over and we are just letting it happen! The amount of money the NHS waste every year is shocking, money paid to unhelpful pen pusher and the staff that are doing the real job are treated as badly as the patients. I know someone that will be in a wheelchair by the time he is thirty because of the lifting of patients because the NHS did not provide the right equipment. This is a unfair system, sure we have taken it for granted but you never know what you had until you lost it, and the service we have is despicable. What a terrible shame, instead of saving life’s, the government think it is better to save money by cutting of a invaluable service and instead spend money on pointless wars and to fill their already deep pockets.

Damy said:

This segment is quite a tough debate. Question on the mind is Price on life, good or bad. but we vhave to reliase that if people can’t be bothered about their life, why should the government care. If someone knowns they dieing n keeps smoking, why should the NHS supply them with medication knowing, they won’t change. We have to to see the fact that in this world its always 50/50.

But in the case of cancer patient or the old, I do agree that a price of life shouldnt be place on them, as they have the right to live and die if they want. This film, is a eye opener as it opens issues surrounding healthcare reforms which needs to be reviewed.

hilda said:

No price should be put on life but lifestyle. If you think a price should be put on someone’s life, try getting sick. The public should be educated on the dangers of smoking and drinking or whatever else that can damage someone’s health.

Randolph Ferry said:

Halley, your ‘big pharma’ comment is just another example of this bogus anti-capitalism which has done the round in recent years. The ‘it’s all about profits’ argument currently in vogue actually discredits human (or in this case medical) achievement and leads only to a position where you feel uncomfortable buying anything because ‘it’s all just horrible capitalism and greed’. Try reading some Marx, it might cheer you up!

Funke said:

It’s scary to think that this is even a subject under discussion. There’s no point beating round the bush, when a society’s views are strictly based on humanism and ethics, what do you expect? I believe these values have been borrowed from Christianity; you keep the gate closed but drive the gate keeper away, but it takes more than the bolt, lock, key and padlock to secure the house.

So everything is about economy and productivity now, what happened to respect for elders, are we saying that they’ve served their time now its time to go. As for people with terminal illness, sparing the pound/drug may be the rational choice but it takes more than reason to want to live. Some people die, and sometimes miracles happen. We can’t stop believing even if doctors and trends tell us so, because they are man-made gods. At the end of the day, it’s not over till it’s over.

As for the self-inflicted case points, I can see the logic there, but there are obvious addicts as well as addicts in denial. It’s all a form of escapism and the only people such measures are going to benefit are people with enormous self-belief in their healthy lifestyles who are going to tighten their regimes by doing more exercise and perusing health charts, hopefully they won’t drive themselves into the ground.

The core foundational values have to be recaptured, because no amount of regulations or rationalising is going to make any difference. It’s only going to drive societal morale further downward.

shreya said:

Life is priceless! It should not be up to any organization looking at a balance sheet to tell people whether or not the degree of increase in their quality of life, extended for however long a drug can provide, is not worth it.

nacia said:

Is very interesting all the opinions. but yeah who are these people who gonna deside if somebody’s life worth to be extended or not! every life is valueble and every day more is important!

Carol said:

We should think ourselves lucky to have the healthcare we have (compared to some countries) and it certainly should NOT be rationed.
I read once that 2 people living on opposite sides of the same street were both struck down with the same illness, but only one of them got treatment…WHY? Because their postcodes were different therefore came under different Health Authorities! How can a price be put on a life? I don’t understand.
Everyone, no matter where they live or what lifestyle they have, should get the best possible treatment and healthcare, regardless of cost.
The woman at the end of the film sums it up perfectly.

Calum said:

Blimey Hailey the killer below- this is a classic example of how the culture of limits kills – accepting less than the best for all can end our lives regardless of what we want. And I’d say get out of my personal life- if I smoke, drink, eat alot thats my business- I don’t want pity and I don’t want policing- its my choice. Thank you for getting me off the sofa with this report.

Hailey said:

Fair enough best drugs for all as and when but a) not all drugs are any good so you could be giving big pharma loads of money for dross b) it doesn’t deal with preventative health which is surely the way forward and that has to include behaviour change for smokers c) why do we necessarily think everyone wants to stay alive for ever-not all do

Andrea said:

Grow the cake so more for all why does no one address this?

Mai T Q said:

I agree with the women who says life is priceless but what do we do about limited budgets then

Kenny said:

Not sure I agree with Jon below afterall foereigners are already denied free health care and are checked up on so it is already happenning its not a slippery slope. The rise of the deserving and undeserving is already with us – its the opposite of equality and needs challenging.

Jon said:

Really interesting insights, am impressed but scared re this don’t let people have health care when needed if they are fat, drink a lot or smoke surely if its free at the point of need its free at the point of need not only if you ‘deserve it’ what will be next ? – people with the wrong attitude…its a slippery slope

S Kelly said:

The woman who says life is priceless is so right. Whether modern drugs allow us a day more or 6 weeks or 6 years more life or better pain free life, we should accept no less than the best available for all. In general the aspirations to grow the cake and hence medical provision seem to be there but the will to fight for what we need seems severely compromised by accepting rationing of healthcare for the supposedly undeserving smokers, drinkers and obese. Challenging this idea is a must. Good piece well made.