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Doreen comments on Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others... - Less Wrong

130 Post author: Yvain 24 December 2010 09:26PM

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Comment author: Doreen 16 November 2011 03:26:14PM 6 points [-]

I agree with Desrtopa in that "I don't feel that lives-saved is necessarily a very good metric of utility." Death is binary (dead / not dead), but human pain and suffering is not. This should impact the analysis. Assuming the same cost to save the life, if forced to decide between saving someone from a fatal gunshot wound (perhaps in a war or encampment somewhere) versus saving someone from pancreatic cancer (according to Livestrong, one of the most painful terminal diseases), the outcome (life-saving) may be the same in either case, but there is more utility in saving the latter because overall pain would be reduced.

Thanks for this article; it's a fantastic read.