So we’ve cracked the code on DNA and life expectancy is racheting up greatly in the developed countries. Will we all end up a bunch of geriatrics in our nineties or past the century mark dealing with a host of other issues our predecessors did not have to concern themselves with: losing control of bodily functions, or our mind, watching our friends (even children) pass away and having to build new relationships all the time when we would rather not bother? Losing vitality at the moment when we need it the most to face these personal changes and losses. When I see the new growth industry in nursing homes, I think we have already arrived.
There is a lot of hope for the longevity camp when I see athletes in their 50’s ( and even 60’s) performing at the Olympics ( not winning, though). But I have only to visit one of those nursing homes and see the not•so•lucky ones parked in legions of wheelchairs, doped out of their minds, forgotten by loved ones who are embroiled in their own life struggles, waiting for the end that is less forthcoming than the ready supply of drugs•on•the•hour that keep them thus suspended and manageable by care workers.
Is being propped up with a host of medications preferable to passing away with dignity, and with all faculties intact when one’s purpose in life is served? Would euthanasia become an over•the•counter purchase in a pharmacy, as much as DNA controlling drugs would be in the future?