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Economist: On average, the emergency treatment for an elderly person for injuries resulting from a fall costs $11,000. A new therapeutic program can significantly reduce an elderly person’s chances of falling. Though obviously desirable for many reasons, this treatment program will cost $12,500 and thus cannot be justified.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the conclusion of the argument?


Option A:

Among elderly people who had followed the program for only a few months, the number of serious falls reported was higher than it was for people who had followed the program for its recommended minimum length of one year.

Option B:

Falls resulting in serious injuries are less common among elderly people living in nursing homes than they are among elderly people who live alone at home.

Option C:

A frequent result of injuries sustained in falls is long-term pain, medication for which is not counted among the average per-person costs of emergency treatment for elderly people’s injuries from such falls.

Option D:

The new therapeutic program focuses on therapies other than medication, since overmedication can cause disorientation and hence increase the likelihood that an elderly person will have a serious fall.

Option E:

A significant portion of the cost of the new therapeutic program is represented by regular visits by health care professionals, the costs of which tend to increase more rapidly than do those of other elements of the program.

Difficulty Level



Option C is the correct answer.

Option Analysis

Question type: Weaken the argument.  

Summary of the argument: The argument concludes that the new program cannot be justified despite the fact that it will reduce the number of falls because the cost is significantly higher than the usual treatment.  

A) Doesn’t tell why the new treatment cannot be justified.  

B) The argument talks about the general population of elderly people and not about elderly people location specific.  

C) Correct Answer 

D) We do not know anything about the new program.  

E) This also doesn’t tell why the new program’s high cost is justified.  

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