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A reflection: How much is life worth to the doctor?
- Dr. Antonio Peralta Sánchez

Simple questioning already implies an axiological conflict of actually being able to measure or quantify the value of something valuable per se, and the answer would seem obvious: a lot, everything.

Or is not life perhaps the reason for being a doctor? Or not all the efforts of the forgers of the history of medicine were to preserve it? Undoubtedly, romantically and philosophically, this has been the case, but for hundreds of years and thousands of doctors we have been in charge of demonstrating otherwise.

Alfred Stern states: "Only health and life are supra-historical values'", that is, they are not subject to any relativism, and that life as an absolute value should never be questioned. How then does the question of the value of life appear? This way of facing our existence arises as a great result of a society, a State, a political system, a religion and even a folklore, because we can see life as a product of chance thrown into the world from nothing, and having that same end, as Sartre and Camus affirm; as well as the vision of Saint Augustine of Hippo, who sees God as the beginning and end of human life, with that phrase: "Feciste us ad Te et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in Te" ("You made me Lord for You and my heart will not rest until I rest in You '").

Thus, from the philosophical point of view, life has moved between a supravalue (religious) and a casual value (existentialism). And even more, the rich Mexican folklore participates when José Alfredo Jiménez -historical composer of Mexican ranchera music- bluntly affirms: "Life is worth nothing", and without more or more unraveling axiological conflicts like that question of Socrates: " Life is worth it because we want it or we want it because it is worth it ", when ending dogmatically:" How can life be worth it if it always starts crying and so it ends? ", And concludes:" That is why in this world life it's not worth anything. "

However, we are going through a vortex of conflicts, in which life hangs on a very fine thread, and in that thread the doctors had to create our modus vivendi; but it could not be otherwise, and in one way or another we enter the world of barter: I give you health, my knowledge, you pay me, and according to supply and demand, good marketing techniques, a good marketing study and the needs of a community, can raise as the stock exchange the medical fees; therefore, life has different values, or in other words, the same product is re-labeled daily according to the place where it is located.

So that one day the value of life is truly universal we must learn to respect it, but it is difficult, according to Ortega y Gasset, that man is made according to his circumstances, and we can not control them, but I do not mean to war, to misery or hunger, but to consumerism, to dehumanization, to that social escalation that the system imposes and which obliges daily re-labeling of life.

As doctors, life must always be equal, as the unique value, the most sublime, and if already the Code of Hammurabi implicitly contained a marked respect for the life and bodily integrity of man, as well as the Pentateuch, and Even the pre-Columbian culture itself, why now we will have to assess the value of life?

The key word is respect for life and reinforce the vocation of being a doctor; and the fact that our patients are women, and the majority in a moment of high transcendence such as pregnancy, imposes a new attitude, an honesty and a loving pact that usually always give good results. It is not about acts of heroism or self-denial, but to live with certainty the wonderful opportunity to care for and preserve health and be a participant in the miracle of new life.

Never more than: how much is life worth?