RAISING THE VALUATION OF LIFE. This article by by Binyamin Applebaum in the New York Times (February 16) tells about how different federal agencies have been raising the value that they place on saving a life when they are evaluating the benefits and costs of a proposed regulation. (As an example,the FDA has used a value of $7 million a life in concluding that the benefits of new warning labels for Tylenol are greater than the costs of the labeling). Different agencies have used different numbers. As a benchmark, W. Kip Viscusi, a leading authority on the problem, currently uses an estimate of $8.7 million. Most of the agency numbers are in that range. The Department of Transportation has used a value of $6.1 million. The EPA has used $9.1 million and has recently raised the question whether averting a death from cancer should be valued more highly because it is a slower death that is avoided.

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