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Thursday, 24 April 2008, 12:00AM
Barnard's Inn Hall

What is a human life worth?

Professor Christopher Dye

Choice is a marker of freedom, but also a consequence of limited resources. Because choices about health follow from evaluation, we now inhabit a world of DALYs and discounts, where the interval between birth and death is a "statistical life". Does this fixation about measurement lead to the best decisions about improving health? Or is cost-effectiveness just the price of everything divided by the value of nothing?

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Professor Dye was the Gresham Professor of Physic between 2005 and 2009. He is based at the World Health Organization, where he evaluates epidemiological and economic trends for tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases, measures the impact of control programmes, and presents the findings to governments, scientists and the media. Professor Dye holds a BA from the University of York, gained his DPhil at the University of Oxford, and has taught at Cambridge University, Imperial College and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2008. His work in epidemiology is described in more than 200 scientific papers, and he is currently a member of the editorial board of Science.

All of Professor Dye's lectures may be accessed here.

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