Bribery as Medical Treatment

A paper in the New England Journal of Medicine outlines the results of a scheme to pay people to quit smoking, and what Dalrymple finds most interesting is what it did not say:

…it treated a monetary bribe as morally unproblematic, in precisely the same way as it would have treated a pill or a potion, that is to say as if smoking [were] straightforwardly a disease and money were a straightforwardly pharmacological agent. And it seems to me obvious that if the authors had offered, say, $1 million instead of $800, the results would have been very different. As a bribe to people with a median household income of $60,000, $800 seems to me pathetically, homoeopathically, even insultingly, little. The authors evidently need further training in the art of bribery, perhaps in Nigeria or Albania. Certainly, further studies with different sizes of bribes to smokers are needed.

One thought on “Bribery as Medical Treatment

  1. john malpas

    The state does the opposite by raising th price of cigarettes up and up ( and alcohol) it claims to deter smokers.
    Unless you are in a state institute when all smoking is often forbidden – quite often abruptly .

    Reply

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