If you are near death, would you rather spend money on medical care to keep you alive for another six months and hope a cure can be found or on a cruise that you might not be well enough to take? Gary Becker and his co-authors have taken a second look at terminal care and the value of life near its end. They first examined the topic in 2007. In both cases, they consider a number of factors:

the low opportunity cost of medical spending near ones death, the value of hope including living into new innovations, and the potential positive effect of on [sic] the value of life from being frail

In their earlier paper, too, they find a higher social value of life than in private demand estimates. In their current paper, they find that hope has an extremely high value in treatments for HIV patients.

Maybe Jesse Jackson would agree that medical care should “keep hope alive.”