To Steven Kelman, who teaches public policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, the problem with costbenefit analysis is that it is blind to such issues as human rights. Parallels in Movie
''It's like the doctors in the movie 'Coma,' '' he said, ''who killed healthy people to use their organs to save other people and defended themselves by saying, 'We saved two people for every one we killed.' ''
Here, he added, was a case of arguing that anything should be permitted if the benefits outweigh the costs.''The very process of placing a monetary value on such things as human life and pristine wilderness devalues those things,'' Mr. Kelman contended.
If the Government starts placing a monetary value on life, he said, ''it will discount the great value we place on saving life, and we will be doing less and less of it.''
It seems to me that valuing lives has led to stricter life-saving regulations.