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Is consistency overrated?

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  • i Could we say that, in attributing these dual goals, we thereby render the components commensurable under the common denominator ‘school excellence’? We could, but it would make commensurability very cheap, undermining the concern Solberg and colleagues identify. I will therefore focus on robust commensurability: commensurability along some dimension beyond the value we place in things.

  • ii In 2012, the Global Burden of Disease Study adopted the hybrid prevalence-incidence calculation method that I prefer, suggesting its authors agree.3

  • iii Murray alternately describes DALYs as true measures of health loss, or of the burden of disease.2 3 There are independent reasons to reject the former view, and the latter strikes me as vague enough to be interpretable in many ways, including as an index.

  • iv Murray (personal communication) has suggested that the DALY’s insistence on categorical causal attribution, according to which each adverse health outcome is (sometimes artificially) assigned to a single cause, may help to prevent advocates for particular issues from manipulating DALYs deceptively.

  • Contributors SAS is the sole author of this work

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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