Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Life Doesn't Go On Forever

I have been thinking a lot about the nature of life recently - or more specifically death. We, as a society, are becoming so obsessed with prolonging life I am wondering if we are forgetting how to die. No this isn't an original thought but it has been occupying my time and brainwaves.

An every increasing amount of research is being poured into curing all the ills that befall us. The healthcare costs of first world nations continue to increase somewhat out of control. The breach between the haves and have-nots continues to widen. And all for what? We are born to die.

I was listening to an ethics program last nigth that was debating whether one fo the newer cancer treatments (costing $100,000 a year) should be given to a person that might only get another three months to live, as opposed to one who's life could be extended by two or three years. I wonder of that money couldn't be better used feeding or educating hundreds for that same period.

Now this conversation is hard to have because people seem to automatically want to preserve their own lives, and the lives of their loved ones. And that is not wrong. There is also a whole lot of grey in the argument. Is someone (say the most brilliant surgeon in the world) more valuable than (say) an artist, or a farmer, or an unemployed drug addict? Is my child more worthy than the child of someone I don't know who lives in a country without the resources that Australia has? Is an extra few months so someone can witness the birth of a grandchild or an equivalent big happening worth more than those same months without the event?

I am just beginning on this one.

Image: "Holding Health" by LoverDgirlA1065


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