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[Correspondence] A premature mortality target for the SDG for health is ageist

Ole Norheim and colleagues’ Article (Jan 17, p 239)1 provides a robust empirical study of the effects of a reduction in mortality in people younger than 70 years. Although this analysis is itself perfectly valid, the ethical principles on which it is based are deeply troubling. Specifically, the concept of premature mortality—which has come to the fore in debates about non-communicable diseases and about the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—has the potential to undermine the cherished, fundamental principle of health as a universal right for all.