There's an advert running all over London at the moment for Tommy's Campaign, who are a charity associated with one or more of the big London hospitals. It reads as follows: "It costs 50p to keep a premature baby alive for 1.8 seconds. Please give generously". I find this advert absolutely boggling, because to me, it's a way of ensuring that no one gives them any money. After all, £5 would keep a baby alive for 18 seconds, and £15, which is about the most I could give at one time to one charity, would last 54 seconds. What's the point of giving money which will be useful for less than a minute? I think about some other charities - how that £15 could provide a meal for a whole group of homeless people, or a well for a whole village in Africa, and how much longer my donation would last in each of those cases. And it's obvious to me where my money should go.
Mind you, even the later two examples are about keeping people alive. Although I'm inclined to think that all human life is fundamentally valuable, I wonder if it's worth keeping people alive in a hand-to-mouth existence. I'm more inclined to give my money to charities involved with promoting quality of life than ones which try to directly prolong life.