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.