Major Moral Dilemma: It Started with Viagra


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Major Moral Dilemma: It Started with Viagra

It is obvious even to the most casual observer (no Critical Thinking required) that we must quickly deal with the problem that medical technology has left on our door step. As a result of the success of medical technology we can prolong life ever more, every day, than the day before. I claim that this constantly extending the prolongation of life must quickly cease; we can no longer afford such a foolish unreflective behavior.

Bruce Hardy, a British citizen and cancer victim, was refused the funds, by British health officials, for a drug that could likely prolong his life for 6 more months. The drug treatment cost was estimated to be $54,000. His distraught wife said “Everybody should be allowed to have as much life as they can”.

“British authorities, after a storm of protest, are reconsidering their decision on the cancer drug and others.”

The introduction of the drug Viagra, by Pfizer, in 1998, panicked British health officials. They figured it might bankrupt the government’s health budget and thus placed restrictions on its use. Pfizer sued and the British government instituted a standard program, with the acronym NICE, for rationing health drugs.

“Before NICE, hospitals and clinics often came to different decisions about which drugs to buy, creating geographic disparities in care that led to outrage.”

“British Balance Benefit vs. Cost of Latest Drugs” New York Times

I have stated many times before that I was convinced that we have created a technology that is too powerful for our intellectually unsophisticated citizens to deal with. It seems to me that this particular dilemma does not require a great deal of sophistication to understand. This might be a perfect place to begin a nationwide (USA) Internet discourse directed at getting our intellectual arms around this problem and helping our government officials in an attempt to resolve this terrible dilemma.

Incidentally I am 74 years old, which I think qualifies me to push this matter without appearing to be a hypocrite.
Incidentally I am 74 years old, which I think qualifies me to push this matter without appearing to be a hypocrite.
We'll soon be extending life double, triple what it is now. Maybe even forever isn't far away. To far for you or I in this lifetime, but those teens today may see 200.

I've heard one scientist say the time someone hits 150, the child will be alive that will see 300.

Things will change to keep up. Despite us thinking in today's thought process it impossible. A few hundred years from now folks will be saying "the planet cannot sustain 5 trillion, we need to make a change..." Just like the pioneer at Lake Tahoe who when he woke up seeing 5 wisps of smoke around the lake, that it was just too crowded and he had to move on. (Tahoe is a big lake, his nearest neighbor was over 5 miles away)
Mine is not so much a question as it is a claim that we face some very serious moral questions that requires answers constructed on a foundation of courage, compassion, and sophistication. How can we stabilize world human population in a moral and sophisticated manner and how do we utilize our resources to best effect that important result?
i agree with the op, i think we should reduce in population to ancient/sustainable levels.

we should/must also except death.

we must not place too much of a burden on others.

this may not eventually be a thing of choice, at some point if not already, capitalism will fail, we simply do not possess the material resources needed to keep it going on the large scale it currently is. there just isn’t that must stuff on this planet. if we did find some way of keeping it going, i think the idea of an even more overpopulated world is morally repugnant. things would just be much nicer if there were less people around ~ a lot less.

the further we extend our lives the less people there must be. accordingly the child adult ratio would exponentially decrease ~ is that a good thing?amongst other things, having children around makes us constantly aware of our moral obligations, put all of this together and we have a recipe for ‘sin’ [term used to shorten and to just give an indication of what people could become like].
Citizens must be sophisticated enough to recognize the problem or they will never allow an answer to be formulated. Most of our problems cannot be solved because our citizens are not sophisticated enough to recognize them and thus will not permit a solution until they face the abyss. Often when the abyss is here the solution is too late.
an expression comes to mind...

‘not what they want, what is good for them’! oliver cromwell

well burning people is not good for them oliver, but if we could have a highly educated leader who ignored the people, it could be very good for humanity.

i would rather not exist than be a burden.
i would rather not exist than be a burden.
Can anyone exist without being a burden to others? We are humans which take almost a decade to teach to be self sufficient. We aren't animals which get plop onto the ground and walk, or have enough instinctual knowledge to live without a care giver.

The question is, are you a burden someone is willing to put up with?

China is working toward population isn't pretty. In the US we are becoming an ever prevelant baby daddy society, where kids are raised by one parent or a grand parent instead of Mom and Dad...depsite this, guys don't keep it in their pants and girls don't keep their legs crossed...our population is rising.

Now the interesting dichotomy is the more educated you are on more money you have the less children we are Darwin be damned, the successful aren't breeding and passing on those values and genes and the flip side is doing double and triple duty...
Can anyone exist without being a burden to others?

i see your point, though a child is a burden we want and enjoy, it is also a burden we have put on others to get to adulthood. this is burden within the family unit, what i am talking about is burden put upon society i.e. other families. too many people on earth would simply mean taking bread out of our childrens mouths - so to say. every human uses x amount of resources which are being used up at a rapid rate, eventually we will reach the limits where more births is a burden on humanity. this limit shall decrease exponentially as the amount of recourses available goes down.
‘facts of life over being nice’

i am not prepared to put up with extra burdens [after a point], so must i? if we made general decrees on such matters then they apply to all.
would you take food out of your childrens mouths to feed another ~ perhaps if your wouldn’t starve and it would save a child for sure yes, but there would come a time when it would mean your child would starve.

the successful work for to many hours, having too much time away from home. hopefully this will change, the EU has maximum hours and are pressing britain to do the same ~ thankfully.
Ah, the Malthusian dilemma.

It's nothing a good evolutionary bottleneck can't cure.

Of course the hippies, yippies and yahoos will just have to deal with it. I never have seen the sense in cockroach diplomacy...
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”A 70-year-old woman in India gave birth to her first child, a girl, after undergoing infertility treatment, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

The mother, Rajo Devi, had been trying for 50 years to get pregnant with her 72-year-old husband, who had failed to become a father in two prior marriages. It was undetermined whose egg and sperm were used in the treatment, the newspaper reported.”