Book Talk Home | Search Book Talk | Login | RSS
Not Logged in.
Book Jacket
2030
An intriguing, caustically humorous and unsettling vision of America's future
More about this book

Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

Created: 04/05/12

Replies: 17

Posted Apr. 05, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 465

Expert

Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

Do you think that medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing? Not just for you but for society at large?


Posted Apr. 06, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bevula

Join Date: 10/18/10

Posts: 40

RE: Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

I don't think the 'problem' is whether the medical advances are a good thing - the issue is how we view our rights and responsibilities regarding this longer life. Did you get 20 more years so you could sit around expecting someone else to provide for you? Or did you get 20 more years so you could finally write that novel you always swore you would? Traveled Europe by train instead of watching TV all day? Volunteered at a battered women's shelter instead of calling your children/grandchildren/great grandchildren to complain that they never come see you?

Longer productive life span SHOULD mean longer, more productive work life (if your skills improve with age, how much better would they get with 20 more years!?). More productivity, effectively applied, would mean an improved economy as well, and wouldn't result in a drain on the younger generation. Indeed, it should just mean that we'd continue to be a part of that 'younger' generation for a longer period of time.


Posted Apr. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
harriettek

Join Date: 10/19/10

Posts: 22

RE: Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

You took the words right out of my mouth, Bevula. Medial advances have made wonderful progress in keeping us well and strong. Prolonging life at any cost is obscene. We have DNR letters that we keep with us at all times, and our children all have copies. My great fear is becoming dependent on my children and have worked to ensure that that will not be the case. Now we wait for the future.


Posted Apr. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Izabel

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 17

RE: Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

Here Here, beluva! Well spoken! Right now, I cannot foresee my children being capable of taking care of me. I see it the other way around. Sad commentary on the economy.


Posted Apr. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
suzanneg

Join Date: 03/12/12

Posts: 9

RE: Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

In the book, the elderly seem to take, take, take, in the area of medical improvements with no consideration of society as a whole. If I thought the cost of my (theoretical) knee replacement, for example, would be placed on my daughter and granddaughter, I wouldn't have the surgery.

I don't think real people would be quite as selfish as the ones in the book. Most older people I know are well aware of inheritance.

The issue is certainly worth talking about.


Posted Apr. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Izabel

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 17

RE: Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

suzanneg - I agree with you that I don't think parents would be so selfish in real life, at least not all of them. I did not enjoy this book because I believed its premise to be shallow. I guess I have more faith in people, not so much in government, but in people of all races to act humane.


Posted Apr. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
debrals

Join Date: 11/28/11

Posts: 21

RE: Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

Not all medical advances that prolong life are good-quality vs. quantity. There are people who are alive due to medical advances, but is there quality in their lives. Are they living a good life? A life where they are independent and self sufficient?

Medical advances have improved many lives, but I don't see all of them as good.


Posted Apr. 08, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 214

Expert

RE: Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

So many fabulous thoughts on this. I like them all and agree with most. I too feel that a longer life is no asset if it is to be a matter of lolling about, seeking only comfort, relaxation and fun. When longer includes extended physical strength I think the obligation is to use that productively whether in jobs or volunteerism.


Posted Apr. 08, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
karenp

Join Date: 04/08/12

Posts: 7

RE: Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

If medical advances extend the average lifespan, then the retirement age must also be increased. This assumes that the period of good health is also extended. Who would want to spend more years vegetating in a nursing home?


Posted Apr. 09, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Izabel

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 17

RE: Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

Medical advances that help improve the quality of life are justified. I don't really care if you spend that life relaxing or not being productive as long as you are not a drain on society. I think its important to consider "drains" on society. I don't think all of the social programs are justified if they drain society. Here I'm thinking about people I know who live on disability but could be working, maybe not at their previous jobs, but working in general. And having baby after baby in order to continue to receive benefits is one of those "drains". I'm also opposed to using public funds for expensive elective procedures such as invitro fertilization. I don't have any natural born children and I would never anticipate that society as a whole should pay an exorbitant amount of money for me to have progeny.


Posted Apr. 09, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
suzanneg

Join Date: 03/12/12

Posts: 9

RE: Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

I also think, like Izabel, that it's important to consider "drains" on society. This is a very big issue.

The only solution short of punishing people for being confused and poorly educated (what we do now) is to treat people like the precious individuals they are. Unfortunately, I don't have a clue as to how to do that -- somehow we need to enlist the elders in helping young people solve problems.


Posted Apr. 11, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 76

Expert

RE: Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

Medical advances that help you live longer are only good if they, also, help you live WELL. Extending life without quality is useless and cruel. There are many things worse than death and we should not extend a life just because we 'can'. Many aspects should be considered before we can say a medical advancement is actually a good thing.


Posted Apr. 12, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
cynthiaa

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 50

Expert

RE: Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

There are so many good thoughts already presented here and I agree with all of them. This question has me googling other societies, countries, nationalities, to see how they deal with their aging population. This question and the above answers reminds me of the sayings, " 40 is the new 30." "50 is the new 40". "60 is the new 50". and so on......


Posted Apr. 13, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lynneb

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 41

RE: Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

I agree with most of what has been previously said but I want to share from personal experience why there is a problem with the medical advances. I recently lost my mother and she was a medical miracle on one hand and a medical disaster on the other. She had a bevy of interrelated health problems that brought her to an emergency bowel surgery. Following that procedure (which under normal circumstances should have killed her) she was feeling that she should be allowed to die. She had no bowel or bladder control, could not even find the strength to sit up or pull herself up in bed, could only barely feed herself with food specially prepared and a careful diet due to high sugar levels. She was being given so many medications and vitamins that the chemicals were literally sustaining her body. For weeks they told her and us that she could recover and should try harder. She had no quality of life to return to. Due to strokes her vision was blurry so she could no longer read which had been one of her favorite pastimes. She could not get out of bed and do anything. We finally were able to get her home through Hospice and she lived for two months on oxygen, drugs, extremely limited diet, and in diapers. She finally gave up mentally and was allowed to remove artificial means and die with some sense of dignity.


Posted Apr. 16, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Portiaa

Join Date: 04/04/12

Posts: 10

RE: Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

The people in this book club are really great..I've read these posts with great interest and, for the most part agree with all of them..How does that song go "But who calls it livin when no gal will give in to no man whose 900 years" ..


Posted Apr. 16, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 465

Expert

RE: Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

It Ain't Necessarily So from Porgy and Bess :)

Methuselah lived 900 years
Methuselah lived 900 years
Who calls that livin'
When no gal will give in
To no man what's 900 years

http://youtu.be/gZV5kSEl-aw


Posted Apr. 22, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
janen

Join Date: 06/01/11

Posts: 32

RE: Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

Living longer comes with curses and blessings. In the book Alzheimer's has been cured, but not dementia. To have physical ailments cured is one things. Brooks brushes the psychological and social issues. I know that this is only one man's vision but his title is not that far away. Does make one wonder.....


Posted Apr. 29, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lesg

Join Date: 09/25/11

Posts: 4

RE: Are medical advances that help you live longer actually a good thing?

I think they're a good thing up to a point. The Compassionate Care Facilities scared the hell out of me. They seem like a nightmare world out of the Matrix. Also, I think most of the medical advances were fine, but blackmailing the offspring into paying for them is going too far.


Reply

Please login to post a response.