Writing a book that addresses an important question in broad perspective poses a substantial challenge to keep the reader interested in the unfamiliar and satisfied with the familiar. Howard Steven Friedman meets the challenge well in Ultimate Price: The Value We Place on Life. His chapters explore how public and private institutions as well as individuals value life, whether explicitly or implicitly. The chapters discuss 9/11 compensation, criminal and civil law, environmental regulation, business decisions, life insurance, medical care, and fertility. Although one might not agree fully with either the characterizations or the ostensible ethical implications in all the chapters—and I will return to one area where I disagree strongly—I found the chapters to be generally well informed, thoughtful, and balanced. I think many social science researchers will find this book a worthwhile read for broadening their perspective on the many ways in which society values lives. It will...
Ultimate Price: The Value We Place on Life
David L. Weimer is the Edwin E. Witte Professor of Political Economy at the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin–Madison. His recent books include Medical Governance: Values, Expertise, and Interests in Organ Transplantation and Behavioral Economics for Cost-Benefit Analysis: Benefit Validity When Sovereign Consumers Seem to Make Mistakes. He has served as president of the Association for Policy Analysis and Management (2006) and the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis (2013), and he is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. He is the inaugural winner of the Policy Field Distinguished Contribution Award from the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management and the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis.
David L. Weimer; Ultimate Price: The Value We Place on Life. J Health Polit Policy Law 1 October 2022; 47 (5): 616–619. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03616878-9978159
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