Sunny Von Bulow died this week, 28 years after first falling into a comatose state -- either at the hands of her ex-husband Claus or by her own drug use.
While Von Bulow could easily pay the roughly $250,000 yearly medical costs ($7 million total), most patients cannot. Where a public payer (or even a private payer) covers those expenses, resources are diverted from other beneficiaries.
Many philosophers, bioethicists, and others agree that living in a PVS produces zero QALYs. Therefore, while some may disagree about NICE's $50,000 QALY threshold, treatment for PVS patients far exceeds that.