“Doctors and rescue workers regularly choose to save some lives over others in emergency situations, and organizations routinely apportion money to programs for the young versus the old”.
This quote is from an article in the New Yorker about a paper made by Justin Landy and his adviser, Geoffrey Goodwin. (Valuing different human lives. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. 2014). They made a several studies trying to explain why people often prioritized the young people over the old ones, even when the value of all human lives is equal (culturally speaking). Yet a study reveals that age does not play a linear role in our moral calculations, this means that among children older children are often prioritized over younger children. The study showed that the preference for older children appears to be driven by their having had more invested in their lives, their better developed social relations, and their greater understanding of death.
Also people feel more uncomfortable when they have to choose who dies versus who lives. In one of the studies the majority refused to express any opinions at all about the relative wrongness of killing an older person instead of a younger person. But on questions about assistance, such as who should receive a life-saving medicine, participants were more discriminating. And they offered the most preferential treatment to people who were about ten years old.
The quality-adjusted life year (qaly) standard designed by the economists Christopher Cundell and Carlos McCartney in 1956, it is used extensively ever since to evaluate the costs and benefits of various medical interventions. But according to Landy this method is not quite accurate so in my opinion is not right trying to measure life. If you want to be a hero by saving those children then you should be the one who stand in front of the bus, not by killing someone else, I mean in difficult decisions you always try to do your best.