To save the life of a child, a zoo sacrifices a prized, endangered gorilla. In exchange for one nearsighted Israeli soldier captured in Gaza, Israel released 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. (This example from the Middle East may not be surprising. In Judaism, it is commanded that “to save a life is as if one saved the world.”) And there are other examples of extreme bravery to save one life. That’s how much societies value the life of each human being.
So how, then, do we explain our national acceptance of approximately 251,000 preventable deaths each year from medical error (according to a recent BMJ study)?
We can watch Saving Private Ryan and cheer the heroics of our armed forces as they rescue the remaining son of a family who suffered horrendous battlefield casualties during World War II.
– Health Affairs