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Why prolong life, if the quality of it is not worth living?

I look at things that we do as human beings, ones that make sense and others not so much. One of the things I observe is how in my life time, we spend millions if not billions of dollars to research and manufacture medical technology that might make us live longer. It is what most people want. My question is, Now that we are living longer, what is the porpuse of it if by our late 50's and 60's we require a grand cocktail of medication to help us through each day each one countering the others side-effects. Millions of people require machines like, dialsyis, pacemakers, cpaps, and so on. If our life depends on all these things why do we bother to exchange quality for quantity?

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    Nov 7 2013: Logan's Run anyone?

    I was a young man once Giovanni, and was definitely on board with the whole " hope I die before I get old" thing.

    However, in the end, I'm kicking on 50 and things aren't looking too bad after all. I mean yeah, bladder control is a problem, and all my teeth are gone so I'm pretty much just sucking soup 3 meals a day. But it turns out the drugs do work, so I'm actually feeling pretty chipper for an old fella.

    From the perspective of my ripe old age, I would warn against the hubris of thinking you can objectively decide for someone what makes their life worth living (or not). It's been tried before and it did not go well.

    As for consciousness and what constitutes "worthwhile", I'd suggest that making that call based on the amount of technological and/or medical intervention required is also a slippery slope. I'm guessing Stephen Hawking for one might have an alternative perspective for you.

    I appreciate that it this is a complex and emotive subject; one which health professionals deal with every day. I would strongly object however to superficial third party judgements based on age and or perceived quality of life.

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