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Value of life

HCM 320- Economics

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Mod 2 Discussion: Value of Life

At what point does more not equal better? This is a question many economists struggle with, but when the consumable good is years of life, everyone turns into an amateur economist. Refer to Figure 1 in The Pragmatist’s Guide to Comparative Effectiveness Research article and discuss your response to this question. In your response, consider the following questions:

· Which point on the curve do you advocate for and why?

· What are the differences of the various points on the curve?

In your response posts, be sure to use both cost (factor inputs) and survival (quality life years) to support or refute your peers’ initial posts.

To complete this assignment, review the  Discussion Rubric  ( Will attach) document.

Examples of discussions


I may be looking at this a little differently, but the point on the graph I thought was interesting or important was point A. This is an outlier, the point where nothing makes sense, the cost or the treatment. The reason I think this is important is because it did not work to a degree that it doesn’t even compute. So I would use that information to figure out 2 things, 

1. How could you make it more cost effective?

2. How can you make it work? Can you? WHY didn’t it work? Can you use that knowledge to create something that would work?

I think mistakes are as important as success. From a personal standpoint, as someone who has worked in hospice for years, and wondered what the purpose of some drugs were when they made someone’s life worse, I think A (the blatant outlier) shows us more information then some of the other points on the graph. I also wonder a lot why drugs cost so much, they DON’T cost 100,000 to make a dose they REALLY don’t. So my tendency has always been to look for way more cost effective ways to manage pain, or illness and to always figure out a way to improve quality of quantity. You would be surprised (or maybe not?) how often cannabis, which is super cheap and easy to grow and NATURAL, has been used effectively for a lot of symptoms. Big-pharma has a lot to answer for.

While this article did seem to focus a lot on pharmaceuticals, it also touched on another issue in cost, and that is preventative care, which is way more cost effective then reactionary care. However the paper also suggests the costs of some tests are too much, I would disagree with this point. A lot of patients get sent to PT without any formal imaging, which in the end they need. It seems at times it would be more cost effective to find a diagnosis before trying to treat an issue. Just a thought to chew on!


These questions are hard for me to answer.  Working in  the healthcare field I see many things.  I understand things in a different way.  

For example:

I work as a CNA and I deal with people on different types of medicine on a daily basis.  Many patients receive the same medications but the outcome from those is different in every case.  Drugs do not affect everyone the same way.  Does the quality of care have anything to do with the cost of care?  That is the question I ask on a daily basis.  On the other hand, my husband has many illnesses that he has to take medication for and I deal with the cost of them.  Do they sustain his life or make the pain bearable?  

I watched as he was lying on life support for 2 months and the staff gave him medications, did procedures, put more tubes in and at some point you say “Enough”.  He made me promise that machines and tubes would not keep him alive.  Many doctors and nurses cared for him.  Many tests and many medications were administered.  There is no way to know the effects of them by sight. Finally enough was enough and one more procedure would decide the end result.  Thankfully it was the right decision.  He has been home recovering for over a year.  The process has been slow and painful.  Would I have done things differently?  Maybe.

With that being said I believe that the illness has to be addressed first.  The side effects and the final outcome from the medication.  I have found that doctors prescribe many drugs under assumption.  If it works, good.  If it doesn’t then back to square one.

I would agree with point C.  Cost-effectiveness identifies with productive and efficiency.  Even though it is not as high of a rate as Point B in effectiveness it appears to be more cost efficient.  

Higher prices do not mean better product.  This is proven by generic drugs.  They are cheaper than the name brand but do the same thing.

Discussion Rubric: Undergraduate

Your active participation in the discussion forums is essential to your overall success this term. Discussion questions are designed to help you make meaningful connections between the course content and the larger concepts and goals of the course. These discussions offer you the opportunity to express your own thoughts, ask questions for clarification, and gain insight from your classmates’ responses and instructor’s guidance.

Requirements for Discussion Board Assignments Students are required to post one initial post and to follow up with at least two response posts for each discussion board assignment.

For your initial post (1), you must do the following:

 Compose a post of one to two paragraphs.  In Module One, complete the initial post by Thursday at 11:59 p.m.

Eastern Time.

 In Modules Two through Eight, complete the initial post by Thursday at 11:59 p.m. of your local time zone.

 Take into consideration material such as course content and other discussion boards from the current module and previous modules, when appropriate (make sure you are using proper citation methods for your discipline when referencing scholarly or popular resources).

For your response posts (2), you must do the following:

 Reply to at least two different classmates outside of your own initial post thread.

 In Module One, complete the two response posts by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

 In Modules Two through Eight, complete the two response posts by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. of your local time zone.

 Demonstrate more depth and thought than simply stating that “I agree” or “You are wrong.” Guidance is provided for you in each discussion prompt.


Critical Elements Exemplary Proficient Needs Improvement Not Evident Value

Comprehension Develops an initial post with an organized, clear point of view or idea using rich and significant detail (100%)

Develops an initial post with a point of view or idea using adequate organization and detail (85%)

Develops an initial post with a point of view or idea but with some gaps in organization and detail (55%)

Does not develop an initial post with an organized point of view or idea (0%)


Timeliness Submits initial post on time (100%)

Submits initial post one day late (55%)

Submits initial post two or more days late (0%)


Engagement Provides relevant and meaningful response posts with clarifying explanation and detail (100%)

Provides relevant response posts with some explanation and detail (85%)

Provides somewhat relevant response posts with some explanation and detail (55%)

Provides response posts that are generic with little explanation or detail (0%)


Writing (Mechanics)

Writes posts that are easily understood, clear, and concise using proper citation methods where applicable with no errors in citations (100%)

Writes posts that are easily understood using proper citation methods where applicable with few errors in citations (85%)

Writes posts that are understandable using proper citation methods where applicable with a number of errors in citations (55%)

Writes posts that others are not able to understand and does not use proper citation methods where applicable (0%)


Total 100%

  • Discussion Rubric: Undergraduate
    • Rubric

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