16 May 2011

To Die or Not to Die, that is the question.

Death is topic of the day it seems, with a variety of information published on the subject.

When Will I Die?

First we have proposed sale of a blood test that could tell you how long you'll live. A snip at £435, we could all gain an apparent insight into our mortality. This will identify how fast the body is aging.

I think I'd rather not know. The 'guess my age' game could be outruled by medical development.

Questions that need to be answered include whether it will lead to a rise in plastic surgery. The growing phenomenom in fixing expressions and providing the body with falsely smooth contours is no longer a perrogative of the rich, and I would be extremely suspicious of a test by a cosmetic company that may be engeared to higher sales.

Or will it lead to fluctuations of pension savings. People observe they only have five years of retirement so they may as well spend the cash now?

And those who have a good idea of their mortality, will they then embrace existentialism in an entirely different way, taking social evolution down a different route?

The obvious danger is what becomes of your DNA when the company has tested you. Who retains ownership of that vital information? And what fraud opportunities are available in this area?

How long should I live?

Dying Matters have conducted qualitative research on how long people feel they will or want to live.

There is a significant trend towards the young wanting immortality and regarding infalliblity very highly. While Older people are more realistic and relative. Funny that.

Luckily with the proposed test, they'll be able to know their likely mortality.

Should I control my death?

And the inevitable assisted suicide debate. As Switzerland say Yes to retaining charnel clinics, the discussion is entered again.

The most significant issue with this is measuring objectivity, as I have discussed previously.

When someone has a medical condition which significantly impairs their life, or a terminal one, should they be allowed to seek suicide?

Current measures for psychiatric conditions, whether neurotic or psychotic, are based on conversation. There is little ability to test physically. As a result, no objectivity can be gained on whether a person has a significant mental health issue that is affecting their choice.

Rather like a jury, until such objectivity can be acheived, I would be extremely uncomfortable with proceding with a similar law in the UK.

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