Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quality not quantity

Medical scientists are currently looking at a cocktail of drugs that (might) allow people to live up to the age of 150. Which is fine provided that such a living is healthy and productive, but having seen firsthand the lengths that some doctors will go too to keep someone alive and going despite being in pain and not in sound mind I do wonder if it would be worth it.

A WONDER pill letting us live to the ripe old age of 150 and beyond may be available within five years.
Thanks to advances in medicine, lifestyle and public health, many people in Britain expect to reach their centenary.
Now Professor Peter Smith of New South Wales University in Australia claims “elixir of life” drugs will not only help us live longer, but healthier too.
He said: “The aim is not just to eke out extra existence but to facilitate a longer healthy life. We just don’t want to live longer, we want to live longer well. And these drugs will help with the regeneration of cells, regeneration of processes in the body, so we expect people will live well, much longer.”
Drugs for the body to repair itself and new stem cell therapies could be on the market in five years.
However, Prof Smith recognised that longevity would raise serious issues for society. “People aren’t going to want to retire at 65 and spend many, many decades sitting at home,” he said.
Now I can foresee future overcrowding or employment issues both of which could be serious problems for the countries implementing such a regime I do like the idea of a longer healthy life and (at the moment) I have often wondered why I would have to be removed from a productive life and employment when I hit some arbitrary age barrier where all I'd have was my meagre savings and the (un) generosity of the state, something I've spent most of my working life trying to avoid. However what jobs would the newer generations of kids do if say suddenly all the old farts decide they are going to retire at 130 rather than 65? Dead mans shoes would take on an infinitely long term new meaning if all of a sudden there were a sudden 60 year on hold waiting list for a new job. It's hard enough for the kids of today to get onto the employment ladder with suddenly realising there are no newer jobs available as people are no longer dying. Still we could extend (I suppose) the education system again and keep them in school till they are 40. (sarcasm alert)
But such changes would have to be introduced and thought through very carefully.
I'd bet good money though that they won't be.

3 annotations:

Bill said...

"Thanks to advances in medicine, lifestyle and public health,"

So why do ASH. Jamie Oliver and Don Shenker et al, keep ranting on at anyone daft enough to listen?

Anonymous said...

If you live longer there is a high chance of working longer.
People often died in their fifties a few decades ago. And now we are retiring at 65+.
Not all jobs are ditch digging.
And having a few older people instead of teenagers in service jobs wuld be a darn good idea.

Captain Haddock said...

Who the hell, in their right minds would voluntarily wish to live to 150 .. in a country run by the multi-faceted, fork-tongued, self-serving pillocks who form our current government and its two immediate predecesors ?

Not me !