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Being sentient/functional at an old age and the fear of death within the individual (EDITED). Previously "How old is too old really?".

(EDIT: DISREGARD THE AGE FACTOR, THIS IS ABOUT BEING FUNCTIONAL AND HAVING A "LIFE" WORTH LIVING. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH POLITICS) I'm not screaming, I'm just making sure that everyone gets it.

This question has been in my thoughts for quite some time now. I always wondered, at which point in a human being's life does he or she realizes that it's time to leave this plane of existence?

Say for example you reach 60, you're seasoned alright. Throughout your life, you performed very poor physical maintenance, you've been out of shape since forever and as a result you now suffer all types of diseases and physical illnesses. You're at a point where life, to you, consists of waking up and getting taken care of like a infant on daily basis. You're under many different types of medications, you can't perform any simple physical activity like walking and most of your needs must be tended to by someone else. Then suddenly, your condition gets worse and surgery is needed, or specialized help is needed in order to keep you alive.

Aside from your loved ones wanting to keep you alive, Isn't it selfish to put other people in tight financial situations just so you can almost mirror the life of a vegetable?

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    Apr 27 2013: Jean, There are cultures that respect and revere age and some that leave the old on the ice floe to die. Some have legislated death to babies through abortion and some like in the USA the politicians say it is their choice and devised death panels for citizens and yet exempt themselves from the process.

    At 70 I pay a lot into taxes, coach football, basketball, and track, am a mantracker for the local law ecforcement, write for the local paper, am on many boards, consult, and am a pain in the politicans butt. I take one pill a day ... looks a lot like Fred Flintstone.

    I worked in law enforcement for many years and can tell you taht age is not the issue here. There are people of all ages that the world would have been better off if their parents practiced birth control.

    Politician are taking this question away and will make that decision for you. So live it up Jean because before long your fate will be decided for you. Open your eyes to what is happening now because it will be your future.

    Bob.
    • Apr 28 2013: Hello Bob, thank you for your input on this. Let's not talk about killing babies though, this is not what this is about. In your case, you're a functional individual and have much to live for, so this doesn't apply to you obviously. I'd like you to see this from a general perspective and not a personal one. I'm sure you know someone the same age as you who's not even half the functional human being you are. This is about that person.

      Again ladies and gentlemen, this has nothing to do with the government and politics. This is about self awareness and consciousness. I guess I used the wrong words for this topic, since everyone seems to be on a different page then I am. This is more about being sentient then age I guess. Give the topic another read and let me know about your opinion on the subject, from an outside perspective. Exclude yourself from the scenarion and just see it from a human being perspective, not Robert Winner. Thank you.
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        Apr 28 2013: Jean, Abortion laws, death panels, political involvement in China that limits family size and in the USA that refuses treatment based on legislation are real world events that directly apply to your question.

        IF you had written should we allow life support on patients that are clinically dead or will never recover to a functional state then I would have answered differently.

        I have a living will, power of attorney, etc ... so as to not become a financial or mental burden on my family. However, as I said before that is no longer a option as I have been condemed to death by legislation. I find that VERY personal.

        Jean you do not provide any info on yourself ... country, age, etc ... As I am facing these issues you may not be and the event may be well into your future .. depending on where you live so we are looking through different filters.

        Sorry but government and politics have everything to do with your question ... even as you revise it.

        If everyone is on a different page than your are I suggest turning pages to catch up.

        I wish you well. Bob.
        • Apr 28 2013: Robert this isn't about life support, you didn't understand my initial post. Either by my very poor choice of words or the topic simply went over your head. I honestly see no purpose in you continuing to reply to this topic because we're on two totally different pages right now. We'll get a chance to exchange ideas on a different topic for sure. Peace, live long and prosper.
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        Apr 28 2013: Jean, It would appear from the comments and from your own admission that all of us are on a different page from you. Sorry I could not sort it out. Hope you connect with someone.

        Perhaps it did go over my head I am just a simple engineer working on a doctorate.

        I wish you well.
        • Apr 28 2013: Thank you Robert, I appreciate it.
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          Apr 28 2013: Oh, Robert! Doctorate in what field?
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          Apr 29 2013: ? Come on, Fritzie... It's nice tp have a PhD, but what happens if you have a bigger FYI?

          And, for the record, the feeling of safety and security is greatly compromised when you have to close your window because of a maniac with a bomb a couple of blocks away. True story.
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      Apr 29 2013: Robert,

      "There are cultures that respect and revere age and some that leave the old on the ice floe to die. Some have legislated death to babies through abortion and some like in the USA the politicians say it is their choice and devised death panels for citizens and yet exempt themselves from the process."

      That's true, but when those cultures come together, free of prejudice and interest in personal gain, they can actually make something new. The world is moving and changing fast nowadays, faster than ever. Every person that has an internet connection gets 320 times more information than was kept in The Library of Alexandria (from Introduction to "Big Data, A revolution that will transform how we live, work and think" by V Mayer-Schonberger, K. Cukier) and this will change both the world, your life, my life and any death panels that may have come about.

      "I worked in law enforcement for many years and can tell you taht age is not the issue here. There are people of all ages that the world would have been better off if their parents practiced birth control."

      I agree, it's not age, it's capacity, perseverance, courage and a number of other factors, a lot of them misunderstood. I have not worked in law enforcement as you have, but I was taught the basics of both safety and security, relevant at that time, by my father before I turned 10. He was a smart, hard-working man who travelled the whole world, he sniffed the social and political change coming to Poland and predicting there might be social unrest, he felt compelled to prepare us. There was unrest, there were fights between workers and special forces, there was trouble after that as well but thanks to his lessons I never got beaten up by anybody who happened to have other musical preferences or opinions, some of my friends did though. But opinions and preferences change and change fast in the information age... And the more information we get, the better but it's also important how we get it. To be continued.
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        Apr 29 2013: Anna, Thanks or sharing your story and the lessons from your father. As we have both experienced and seen, not all change is good for either the individual or the society as a whole. You are, of course, correct that rapid changes are occuring everywhere. With change also come fear and resentment. In the USA we are being "forced" to make changes during a really bad time in our history. Political change and fisical recession and depression are knocking on our door. The older generations have the ability to see where we have been and where this "new direction" is taking us.

        The question of how old is to old is being answered by politicians. I am currently healthy but in the event I become sick our new policy would be to deny me medical attention to prolong my life. So the question is without merit ... a political death panel has made that decision.

        There are many things I like about the "new age" and some I do not like. I think our education approach must change to better utilize our resources and use 21st century technology to better prepare our youth ... the focus on only core subject I believe to be an error as there is value in the arts that should be experienced also ...

        I would have loved to studied the document in the library at Alexandria .... This has been a pleasant detour from the conversation at hand. Thank you.

        I wish you well. Bob.
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          Apr 29 2013: Hi Bob,

          I understand fear and resentment well. I never discard any lesson until new experience, information or trend proves, without the slightest shadow of a doubt, that the lesson has no value or that the value is only sentimental. I also know what sentimental is and my view on "new age" is not that. "Cut your hair and get a job", they say. I say "Get a job I get, but why cut your hair?" You have different experiences than I have, I've been in media, sales, art, business, academia, tried different things and had different lessons. Some of them memorable, some of them to be filtered. What I'm trying to say here is that thanks to this new, glooming and glorious, information age, I'm from Texas, Indonesia and a number of other places at the same time thanks to a single click, accidental or not, while still scratching my head and being humble enough to say "Maybe I'm overreacting..."
          My father was a misunderstood, every-day hero, it took me over 25 years to understand him, while always trying to do the best I can for all the rest. And my reward was to hear that he died almost alone, in pain, in a dirty bed because the type of cancer he got was so unknown that there's no chance in hell to survive. He was tough enough to get it and survive 13 days longer than statistics diagnosed. Here come the statistics, the big data, and what is really interesting. He didn't reach your age, he had no chance, but he should have deserved one. Not to mention my mother, an every-day hero of a differeent kind.
          Call all this a rant, call it a speech, call it whatever you want. Frankly, my dear.... and so on.
          All you need is true love, ask me what true and what love is, if you dare. Ask me what I mean by you, age, statistics or cancer. What I mean by "whatever" or "perseverence".
          This is not against you, you get that, don't you.
          If that was too much and if that was too strong... Please listen to one of my favourite songs - Alice In Chains - "Rooster".
          Be well, Bob. I like you name :) Etc
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      Apr 29 2013: "I worked in law enforcement for many years and can tell you taht age is not the issue here. There are people of all ages that the world would have been better off if their parents practiced birth control."

      ...ok, but those people of all ages have been born, everyone knows what may happen if they get a job in Guantanamo Bay or law enforcement of any sort. My father's job was to have control over such people, up to 200 men at sea in foreign countries. I've heard many stories about it, of him standing for hours trying to make sure that a drunk captain doesn't fall into an open cargo hold, stories about how people go nuts at sea and what to do. He would probably think - "when on duty - behave, your suspects are not your subjects nor are the people in a foreign country. And if you don't t, it's probably not only the captain that got drunk... And if so - drunk with what?" But he would put it differently.

      He was not popular because he had a tendency to say the truth into people's face, and that's not completely irrelevant...

      "If everyone is on a different page than your are I suggest turning pages to catch up.

      I wish you well. Bob."

      Bob, in an information age you don't have to turn the page, you click yourself into the world that you didn't know anything about before. Not everything you find is good, but it may be interesting. Some people make content like music, some make parodies of this music. Some people make parodies of parodies. Some make parodies of news, other people, their age, background or whatever it may be. There are conflicts of interest between some of those people but some conflicts are just more conflicted than others and as we have more and more information about all of that, we can change the world for the better.
      SUM - I just think that ethical considerations should go hand in hand with security or safety of any sort and the smarter the world gets the more plausible this combination becomes.
      Best wishes to everyone involved in this discussion.

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