Negative charity

Buried away in a tiny Telegraph column this week was a reference to one of the best academic studies
to emerge in a long time. Doctors in a Scottish hospital have looked at
the hidden costs of charitable parachuting, to the health service in
particular, and published the results in the journal Injury (the link
is to the abstract unless you or your institution subscribe). They
found that the injury rate was 11% and the serious injury rate 7%.
Minor injuries cost the National Health Service £3751 on average and
serious injuries £5781.

As the average parachutist raised all of
£30 (this is just a day out after all) each pound raised for charity
cost the NHS £13.75. Every one of the charitable types who feels
terribly virtuous raising money for charity in this way is actually
preventing the health service treating the sick.

Here is the link, and thanks to Matthew Sinclair for the pointer.  Can you think of other comparable examples of negative charity?

Addendum: Jeff Ely directs my attention to this example; buy and drink some water, so that Starbucks will donate money to address the water shortage (in other countries).


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