Tuesday, February 20, 2007

How to murder 100,000 people - and get away with it

Counterfeit drugs, mostly manufactured in China, are widely distributed in Southeast Asia and Africa. The thugs have a lot of blood on their hands ...
In the World of Life-Saving Drugs, a Growing Epidemic of Deadly Fakes - New York Times

Estimates of the deaths caused by fakes run from tens of thousands a year to 200,000 or more. The World Health Organization has estimated that a fifth of the one million annual deaths from malaria would be prevented if all medicines for it were genuine and taken properly...
I'm generally not in favor of the death penalty, but it is tempting to make an exception for wealthy entrepreneurs who kill thousands of people.

Which brings me to tobacco. Tobacco executives sell an addictive product that, when used as directed, kills thousands. From a purely ethical perspective, disregarding minor details of law, are they substantially less evil than these counterfeiters?

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