The field of Public Health aims to promote, nurture, and expand healthy living in humanity to ensure a comfortable standard of living for every citizen. As a part of an inclusive division of medicine, public health officials are tasked with enacting health treatments to various illnesses under finite resources. Due to this, a methodical system of measuring treatment success exists in which a successful cure leaves patients liberated from their disease and grants patients with an extended life expectancy (Harris, pg. 429). This definition of success is calculated in QALY, or quality-adjusted life years. QALYs measures a year of life expectancy to be equal to 1, death equal to 0, and any situation objectively worse than death equal to a negative value (Harris, pg. 429). A treatment that ensures a positive number of QALY with the lowest resources used will be given higher priority over a treatment that has a low number of QALY with more resources allocated. In most cases, patients with higher life expectancies are favored over individuals with lower life expectancies as a higher life expectancy produces more QALYs, therefore incentivizing patients who gain a brief, stable life over patients who will live a longer, painful life with treatment (Harris, pg. 429). QALYs fail to consider the contemporary principle that every human life automatically weighs the same. By measuring human beings as numerical increments, the importance of life is devalued and influences public health officials to discriminate and ignore the values of liberty and justice that humans are bestowed.

Public health officials dedicate themselves to saving the highest number of victims possible, something that cannot be executed under a policy that favors a small faction of citizens needing treatment. Consequently, QALYs conflicts with the standard that every human life holds value and deserves justice in a democratic society (Harris, page 430). QALYs, by nature, defies the notion that every life is valuable under the guise of equality as treatments that fundamentally benefits patients who receive the largest gain in life expectancy denies the right to life to those plagued with illnesses that require extensive recovery. QALYs categorizes citizens into discriminatory piles, determining their level of worth based off of arbitrary conditions that patients cannot dictate. As human lives become disposable objects, QALYs become dangerous as it dehumanizes patients with certain conditions, essentially eliminating their liberty and right of choice. Discrimination based upon QALY disrupts the civil rights that humans are fundamentally given, parallel to discrimination based on sex, creed, and race (Harris, pg. 435). As a result, QALYs is an unfair measurement of patient worth as it ignores the notion that humans deserve the ability to choose their destiny.

QALYs defy the inclusive, life-saving ideology that health officials abide by, therefore causing officials to disregard the lives of their patients in favor of protecting allocated resources. To avoid discrimination, health care officials must equitably allocate resources and distribute justice for all patients using a neutral system that steers from discriminatory policies (Harris, pg. 435). In doing so, the liberty of patients worldwide and public health's mission is protected against systems such as QALYs that slyly ignore the basic human entitlements of liberty, freedom, and justice for every citizen.