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Old 24th August 2019, 03:23 PM   #1
Thor 2
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Modern Medicine And Morality - The Road Leads?

I think we would all agree with the sentiment that modern medicine is wonderful. People are pulled back from the brink of death today with the help of medical procedures and medicines.* Infertile couples are helped to have children. Physically disabled walk again, and so on.

Is there a down side to this?

I think there is but it isn't spoken about. Modern medicine facilitates life, fertility, and mobility where nature has denied it. Modern medicine facilitates it and modern morality demands it. This leads us somewhere I find disturbing to consider. Doubling disturbing because I can't see a solution.

Can others see the down side I contemplate?


* I am one of these.
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Old 24th August 2019, 05:43 PM   #2
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Modern medicine usurps the Darwin awards..

Should human life be maintained at any cost? It depends on which end of the pipeline you find yourself..

Human life aside, people are now spending thousands treating their pets for cancer and such..
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Old 24th August 2019, 06:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Can others see the down side I contemplate?
It's kind of hard to tell since you don't spell out what you contemplate.

In a Darwinian sense, no, I don't see the problem. My concern is more an access issue. Much, perhaps most of the world is going to be excluded from heroic advances in medicine. That IMO is not a good reason to stop seeking such advances, since research does contribute to pure science. But be real about who's going to benefit: Rich people, people with gold-plated insurance benefits and the social-media skills to whip up a heartbreaking GoFundMe page. Or a rare enough condition that attracts the interest of doctors (for example, attempts at face transplants). Would I be curious if a 90-year-old could survive a heart transplant, yes. But it's not a realistic standard of care nor would I want to deny that heart to a 40-year-old.

IMO couples with a high chance of passing down serious genetic diseases should forgo the opportunity to procreate, unless DNA testing allows them to easily terminate a problem pregnancy. I'm not a big fan of IVF anyway, but I know some people are devastated by not being able to perpetuate their own genes. I don't understand it, myself. But it's enough of a basic right that the UK, for example, will fund a certain number of tries per woman.

Last edited by Minoosh; 24th August 2019 at 06:34 PM. Reason: Slightly reworded
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Old 24th August 2019, 08:14 PM   #4
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You're right Thor 2.

Human overpopulation is serious. The more of us there are, the faster we degrade the environment and accelerate global warming, making it a threat to our survival.
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Old 24th August 2019, 08:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
You're right Thor 2.

Human overpopulation is serious. The more of us there are, the faster we degrade the environment and accelerate global warming, making it a threat to our survival.
Is that the problem? Poverty, not prosperity, is what drives much overpopulation. Most of the rich world is already below replacement fertility rates. Sure, people living longer would bump up population some, but declining birth rates cancel some of that out.

I'm still not sure what Thor 2 is getting at, but I can be fairly obtuse.
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Old 24th August 2019, 09:50 PM   #6
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Actually modern medicine can help reduce population growth. You also need to give some power to women in sexual relationships. Specifically the right to use contraceptives. Then give them the knowledge that their children will live (thanks to modern medicine) then they will produce fewer children and spend time and energy to get them a good education.
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Old 25th August 2019, 12:31 AM   #7
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One issue with modern medicine is many babies and infants with serious deficiencies who would have otherwise died are now alive. Some will grow up into responsible adults and take their place in society. Others will be saddled with lifelong mental deficiencies, never progressing past the age of two, or four, or six. If not that, they may have health conditions that require constant attention and care. Sometimes the government will pitch in and help with the care, but even then the funding shifts or disappears entirely when the child reaches the physical age of 18 or 21 years. That can be incredibly stressful on their caregivers.

At the other end of life, elderly and severely incapacitated people, even those who have left living wills requesting they be allowed to die when they deteriorate past the point where they no longer recognize children or spouses, are kept "alive" in nursing homes. Sometimes I wonder if it's because the home wants to avoid legal issues, and other times I think the home is trying to grab as much of the person's money as it can before he or she dies.

In both cases the moral thing may be to let those people go. We routinely euthanize dog, cats, and horses when they become too ill to have a meaningful life.

Here in Canada we now have MAID (Medical Aid In Dying), but that's self-directed and cannot be applied to people who are unable to make the request themselves.

As you can see, I'm not a fan of "keep them alive at all costs." I've very much aware that could be applied to me in the future. I suspect if that's the case I would no longer have the mental capacity to contest it, or even comprehend what's happening. In that case, free up a bed in the care home for someone who needs it more than I do (and take my body out the curb for recycling. )
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Old 25th August 2019, 12:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Others will be saddled with lifelong mental deficiencies, never progressing past the age of two, or four, or six.
We've always had profoundly mentally disabled people among us.
From wiki:

Quote:
The oldest physiological view of intellectual disability is in the writings of Hippocrates in the late fifth century BCE, who believed that it was caused by an imbalance in the four humors in the brain.

Caliph Al-Walid (r. 705–715) built one of the first care homes for intellectually disabled individuals and built the first hospital which accommodated intellectually disabled individuals as part of its services. In addition, Al-Walid assigned each intellectually disabled individual a caregiver.[42]

Until the Enlightenment in Europe, care and asylum was provided by families and the church (in monasteries and other religious communities), focusing on the provision of basic physical needs such as food, shelter and clothing. Negative stereotypes were prominent in social attitudes of the time.

In the 13th century, England declared people with intellectual disability to be incapable of making decisions or managing their affairs.[41] Guardianships were created to take over their financial affairs.

In the 17th century, Thomas Willis provided the first description of intellectual disability as a disease.[41] He believed that it was caused by structural problems in the brain. According to Willis, the anatomical problems could be either an inborn condition or acquired later in life.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, housing and care moved away from families and towards an asylum model. People were placed by, or removed from, their families (usually in infancy) and housed in large professional institutions, many of which were self-sufficient through the labor of the residents. Some of these institutions provided a very basic level of education (such as differentiation between colors and basic word recognition and numeracy), but most continued to focus solely on the provision of basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. Conditions in such institutions varied widely, but the support provided was generally non-individualized, with aberrant behavior and low levels of economic productivity regarded as a burden to society. Individuals of higher wealth were often able to afford higher degrees of care such as home care or private asylums
Modern medicine also prevents many such disabilities.
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Old 25th August 2019, 05:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Can others see the down side I contemplate?
I don't know if it is a "downside" or even if it is a moral issue but one of the consequences of modern medicine is the temptation to "improve" humans by attempting to enhance some genetic characteristics. There is also the temptation to terminate pregnancies if medical testing suggests that the child is likely to have significant disabilities.
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Old 25th August 2019, 05:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Can others see the down side I contemplate?
Why not just say what you're contemplating instead of expecting others to guess what you're contemplating?
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Old 25th August 2019, 05:38 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
At the other end of life, elderly and severely incapacitated people, even those who have left living wills requesting they be allowed to die when they deteriorate past the point where they no longer recognize children or spouses, are kept "alive" in nursing homes.
The problem is, short of being on a ventilator or having a feeding tube, there's no life support to withhold. There's no mechanism to "allow" them to die if they keep on ticking on without such interventions. "Just kill me if I get dementia" might be problematic, especially if they can no longer ask for themselves. Dementia is not necessarily a terminal illness.
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Old 25th August 2019, 05:43 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
There is also the temptation to terminate pregnancies if medical testing suggests that the child is likely to have significant disabilities.
That's what the testing is for. Ending the pregnancy is not a bug in that context; it's a feature.

Apologies for the cliche.
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Old 25th August 2019, 05:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Can others see the down side I contemplate?

Even if I could, I wouldn’t be able to answer your question.
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Old 25th August 2019, 06:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
One issue with modern medicine is many babies and infants with serious deficiencies who would have otherwise died are now alive. Some will grow up into responsible adults and take their place in society. Others will be saddled with lifelong mental deficiencies, never progressing past the age of two, or four, or six. If not that, they may have health conditions that require constant attention and care. Sometimes the government will pitch in and help with the care, but even then the funding shifts or disappears entirely when the child reaches the physical age of 18 or 21 years. That can be incredibly stressful on their caregivers.

At the other end of life, elderly and severely incapacitated people, even those who have left living wills requesting they be allowed to die when they deteriorate past the point where they no longer recognize children or spouses, are kept "alive" in nursing homes. Sometimes I wonder if it's because the home wants to avoid legal issues, and other times I think the home is trying to grab as much of the person's money as it can before he or she dies.

In both cases the moral thing may be to let those people go. We routinely euthanize dog, cats, and horses when they become too ill to have a meaningful life.

Here in Canada we now have MAID (Medical Aid In Dying), but that's self-directed and cannot be applied to people who are unable to make the request themselves.

As you can see, I'm not a fan of "keep them alive at all costs." I've very much aware that could be applied to me in the future. I suspect if that's the case I would no longer have the mental capacity to contest it, or even comprehend what's happening. In that case, free up a bed in the care home for someone who needs it more than I do (and take my body out the curb for recycling. )
Of course this is one view, the morality of which can be debated. But the real problem is that these views are easy to advance in theory, but trust me, one's views usually change when one is close to death oneself. Or perhaps even more so, when one has a child who is handicapped mentally or physically. When it is personal one wants very desperately those last two months of life and doesn't want some accountant saying that overall it is not cost effective. Or that one's child is not adequately up to snuff to allow to live. I am lucky to have two fully healthy children but if I were less fortunate and had an intellectually impaired kid I would rip the guts out of anyone seeking to let them die because the "weren't worth" keeping alive.

This is separate from quality of life issues decided by the individuals themselves, rather than imposition of judgements by others in the name of cost effectiveness or value to society.

Last edited by Giordano; 25th August 2019 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 25th August 2019, 02:15 PM   #15
Thor 2
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
Modern medicine usurps the Darwin awards..

Should human life be maintained at any cost? It depends on which end of the pipeline you find yourself..

Human life aside, people are now spending thousands treating their pets for cancer and such..

Succinctly put.

This is the downside I see and cannot see a solution to it. Darwin introduced us to the concept of survival of the fittest. The fittest not necessarily the strongest but the one that fits the world environment. Now medicine is facilitating the survival of more and more who would otherwise perish. The "fittest" is becoming universal.

Modern morality is demanding that all survive - this regardless of the viability of the survivor.
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Old 25th August 2019, 02:25 PM   #16
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Modern medicine. Modern medicine is science; morals do not apply directly, but we are wise to apply our morals to it.

- Overpopulation. As mentioned, it works the other way, too:

1: The knowledge that your children are likely to survive tends to make you produce less children.

2: Science gives access to contraception.

3: People living longer may increase the number of people alive at any point, but does not increase population growth: The extra time we get to live are not reproductive.

- Darwinism:

Medical science and science in general can be said to disable natural selection, but only if we define natural selection as ... natural, or indigenous. However, Nature provided us with intelligence. Us using that intelligence to increase our survivability is not unnatural. We will probably also use our intelligence to limit survivability. Darwinism is not limited to non-intelligent factors.

- Medical advances only available to the rich: Only in countries with a liberal or right-wing regime. Plenty of countries in the world have systems that give all citizens access to advanced health-care, irrespective of income.

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Old 25th August 2019, 02:29 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
It's kind of hard to tell since you don't spell out what you contemplate.

In a Darwinian sense, no, I don't see the problem. My concern is more an access issue. Much, perhaps most of the world is going to be excluded from heroic advances in medicine. That IMO is not a good reason to stop seeking such advances, since research does contribute to pure science. But be real about who's going to benefit: Rich people, people with gold-plated insurance benefits and the social-media skills to whip up a heartbreaking GoFundMe page. Or a rare enough condition that attracts the interest of doctors (for example, attempts at face transplants). Would I be curious if a 90-year-old could survive a heart transplant, yes. But it's not a realistic standard of care nor would I want to deny that heart to a 40-year-old.

IMO couples with a high chance of passing down serious genetic diseases should forgo the opportunity to procreate, unless DNA testing allows them to easily terminate a problem pregnancy. I'm not a big fan of IVF anyway, but I know some people are devastated by not being able to perpetuate their own genes. I don't understand it, myself. But it's enough of a basic right that the UK, for example, will fund a certain number of tries per woman.

You claim ignorance of what I contemplate but give a good illustration of one of the issues in the highlighted. So who gets to decide who does, and who does not, get to procreate?

Those who work with the disabled are confronted with the issue daily. What expectation of those unfortunates is it our moral duty to provide? Is sexual relationship and procreation out of the question?
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Old 25th August 2019, 02:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
Why not just say what you're contemplating instead of expecting others to guess what you're contemplating?

Just wanting to tease out what comes to mind in others, rather than blanket the thread with my own views initially. Some here have been good enough to give some insight.
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Old 25th August 2019, 02:50 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I think we would all agree with the sentiment that modern medicine is wonderful. People are pulled back from the brink of death today with the help of medical procedures and medicines.* Infertile couples are helped to have children. Physically disabled walk again, and so on.

Is there a down side to this?

I think there is but it isn't spoken about. Modern medicine facilitates life, fertility, and mobility where nature has denied it. Modern medicine facilitates it and modern morality demands it. This leads us somewhere I find disturbing to consider. Doubling disturbing because I can't see a solution.

Can others see the down side I contemplate?


* I am one of these.
As has already been noted, the modern miracles are very unevenly distributed.

There’s also the question of efficiency: to what extent can health care costs be reduced?

There may be some downsides, eventually, but they’re a long way off, IMHO.
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Old 25th August 2019, 03:42 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by JeanTate View Post
As has already been noted, the modern miracles are very unevenly distributed.

There’s also the question of efficiency: to what extent can health care costs be reduced?

There may be some downsides, eventually, but they’re a long way off, IMHO.

Geographically uneven also.

My heart goes out to those poor women in developing countries who suffer fistula* after childbirth.. Denied treatment because of the lack of it where they live, often are shunned in the communities they live, on top of the discomfort of the affliction itself.

*fistula – a fissure, or hole, between the rectal and vaginal passages.
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Old 25th August 2019, 05:39 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Geographically uneven also.

My heart goes out to those poor women in developing countries who suffer fistula* after childbirth.. Denied treatment because of the lack of it where they live, often are shunned in the communities they live, on top of the discomfort of the affliction itself.

*fistula – a fissure, or hole, between the rectal and vaginal passages.
When I was in the Peace Corps, some of my friends encountered that often. They did a lot of educational work to discourage the activities that caused it (typically hard work done in a squatting position shortly after childbirth), but ran into cultural barriers. They also helped coordinate travelling surgical programs that treated the issue.
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Old 26th August 2019, 12:08 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
The problem is, short of being on a ventilator or having a feeding tube, there's no life support to withhold. There's no mechanism to "allow" them to die if they keep on ticking on without such interventions. "Just kill me if I get dementia" might be problematic, especially if they can no longer ask for themselves. Dementia is not necessarily a terminal illness.
True, but dementia is unrelenting and often progressive. In severe cases people end up in something similar to a persistent vegetative state, sometimes described as "lights on but nobody's home." From a strictly economic point of view, what use is it in keeping such a person alive when they're already just a step short of being dead?

Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
Of course this is one view, the morality of which can be debated. But the real problem is that these views are easy to advance in theory, but trust me, one's views usually change when one is close to death oneself.
I'll say sometimes to that. Since 2016 Canada has allowed MAID (medical assistance in dying,) and in less than a year after it became legal over 1,300 Canadians requested and received it.

Quote:
Or perhaps even more so, when one has a child who is handicapped mentally or physically. When it is personal one wants very desperately those last two months of life and doesn't want some accountant saying that overall it is not cost effective. Or that one's child is not adequately up to snuff to allow to live. I am lucky to have two fully healthy children but if I were less fortunate and had an intellectually impaired kid I would rip the guts out of anyone seeking to let them die because the "weren't worth" keeping alive.
It's a good argument. I'll counter with this (warning, n=1): the case of Robert Latimer, who intentionally caused the death of his severely impaired daughter Tracy.
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Robert William "Bob" Latimer (born March 13, 1953) is a Canadian canola and wheat farmer who was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his daughter Tracy (November 23, 1980 – October 24, 1993). This case sparked a national controversy on the definition and ethics of euthanasia as well as the rights of people with disabilities, and led to two Supreme Court decisions, R. v. Latimer (1997), on section 10 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and later R. v. Latimer (2001), on cruel and unusual punishments under section 12 of the Charter. Latimer was released on day parole in March 2008 and was granted full parole in December 2010.

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This is separate from quality of life issues decided by the individuals themselves, rather than imposition of judgments by others in the name of cost effectiveness or value to society.
True—that's where MAID comes in, and living wills requesting no intrusive medical interventions after the mind does away but the body is still carrying on.

At times, just because we can save a life doesn't mean we necessarily should. Terri Schaivo and, before her, Karen Ann Quinlan come to mind. Families have been torn apart because one side wanted to keep a member "alive" on a ventilator, despite there being no indication of normal consciousness, while the other side wishes to turn off the machines and let nature take its course.

I confess to being rather utilitarian about this. I view the body as a compact, portable life support system for the brain. After the brain gives out, what use is the body? That, of course, opens up a whole raft of difficult questions about when the brain is far enough gone that it's no longer serving its purpose. (Which in turn raises questions about the purpose.)
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Old 26th August 2019, 01:13 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Succinctly put.

This is the downside I see and cannot see a solution to it. Darwin introduced us to the concept of survival of the fittest. The fittest not necessarily the strongest but the one that fits the world environment. Now medicine is facilitating the survival of more and more who would otherwise perish. The "fittest" is becoming universal.

Modern morality is demanding that all survive - this regardless of the viability of the survivor.

Kumar had similar concerns a few years back:
Originally Posted by Kumar View Post
Simply, whether today's prefered interventions are not effecting "surrvival of fittest" & propagating unfits to bring unfittness?
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Old 26th August 2019, 01:29 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Succinctly put.



This is the downside I see and cannot see a solution to it. Darwin introduced us to the concept of survival of the fittest. The fittest not necessarily the strongest but the one that fits the world environment. Now medicine is facilitating the survival of more and more who would otherwise perish. The "fittest" is becoming universal.



Modern morality is demanding that all survive - this regardless of the viability of the survivor.
Nope. It is the same pressures as before only our genes have improved their chances of being passed on.
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Old 26th August 2019, 01:46 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
You claim ignorance of what I contemplate but give a good illustration of one of the issues in the highlighted. So who gets to decide who does, and who does not, get to procreate?

The parents, obviously. Most parents don't want to have seriously disabled children, not even the ones who think that they can achieve some kind of immortality by reproducing their genes usually think of their disability as the one thing that they would like to pass on to future generations, which is why Minoosh mentioned the cases where "DNA testing allows them to easily terminate a problem pregnancy."
This is where modern medicine becomes relevant, but it's obviously not what you thought of with your morality idea.
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Old 26th August 2019, 09:22 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
You claim ignorance of what I contemplate but give a good illustration of one of the issues in the highlighted. So who gets to decide who does, and who does not, get to procreate?
Obviously that is traditionally up to individuals and I don't foresee that changing. But I would hope that 2 people who both carry a recessive gene for any number of conditions would decide not to play the odds. Today fewer people with Down syndrome are being born because, for better or worse, it can be detected fairly early in a pregnancy and 90 percent of those fetuses are being aborted. Technology should reduce, not increase, the number of seriously ill babies born.

I also thing cutting-edge technology is going to be severely limited for most of the world's population. Even in countries that supposedly have UHC I've heard anecdotally of very primitive hospital facilities and training.

It's cool to see innovative procedures that dramatically reveal new treatments for once-hopeless conditions, but for much of the world access to clean drinking water and proper vaccinations would save more lives. It's hoped that will increase wealth and bring birth rates down.

My reservation is not demographic but ethical. Heroic interventions are all well and good but the resources expended would cover a lot of basic preventative care.
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Old 26th August 2019, 10:03 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
True, but dementia is unrelenting and often progressive. In severe cases people end up in something similar to a persistent vegetative state, sometimes described as "lights on but nobody's home." From a strictly economic point of view, what use is it in keeping such a person alive when they're already just a step short of being dead?
Judging who should live by their economic utility is going to come with major ethical implications. To be clear, I'm not talking about withdrawing life support but about actual homicide.

If you never want to receive CPR, a feeding tube or a ventilator put it in writing and designate someone to speak for you if you can't. It's not foolproof but it might help.
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Old 26th August 2019, 02:51 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
The parents, obviously. Most parents don't want to have seriously disabled children, not even the ones who think that they can achieve some kind of immortality by reproducing their genes usually think of their disability as the one thing that they would like to pass on to future generations, which is why Minoosh mentioned the cases where "DNA testing allows them to easily terminate a problem pregnancy."
This is where modern medicine becomes relevant, but it's obviously not what you thought of with your morality idea.

Well I was talking about mentally disabled people wanting to enjoy partnership and procreate. Are you suggesting the parents, (obviously?), have the right of veto, regardless of the severity of the disablement?

From the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:

Quote:
Scientists have long recognized that many psychiatric disorders tend to run in families, suggesting potential genetic roots. Such disorders include autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia.
This is an illustration of the issue that can't just be hand waved away. What is the right of the disabled to enjoy as full a life as we can give them? How do we facilitate this, when we may be increasing the number of disabled? If we have controls where are the benchmarks, and who calls the shots? Don't ask me to do it.
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Old 26th August 2019, 03:23 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Obviously that is traditionally up to individuals and I don't foresee that changing. But I would hope that 2 people who both carry a recessive gene for any number of conditions would decide not to play the odds. .........

You haven't worked with the mentally disabled then. Attitudes toward this are changing. It is difficult as moral people to deny the disabled as full a life as they may be able to experience.

As most may have realised, there are more disabled in the general community now, than just a few years ago. We have three in my sporting club. One male Down's syndrome who had a girlfriend of the same affliction. Another with a deformed arm and some kind of mental shortcomings, and another who has to have a full time carer in attendance.

I mention this as an illustration of how our society has evolved, (for the better I think), into a more inclusive one. The problems are not locked away in institutions where others have to look after them. This leads to a greater interaction with the disabled however, and perhaps a greater expectation of them to enjoy what they see others, (not afflicted), having.
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Old 26th August 2019, 11:13 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Well I was talking about mentally disabled people wanting to enjoy partnership and procreate. Are you suggesting the parents, (obviously?), have the right of veto, regardless of the severity of the disablement?

From the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services:



This is an illustration of the issue that can't just be hand waved away. What is the right of the disabled to enjoy as full a life as we can give them? How do we facilitate this, when we may be increasing the number of disabled? If we have controls where are the benchmarks, and who calls the shots? Don't ask me to do it.

Why do you invent a right to this? Is this right in any constitution? What you are actually proposing is a ban against something, i.e. you're proposing eugenics.

To your latest post: There seems to be fewer children born with Down's syndrome: Denmark halves Down's births by non-invasive screening in early pregnancy (British Medical Journal, June 23, 2007)

That people with Down's syndrome are allowed and encouraged to participate in activities doesn't mean that there are more of them in general. It just means that you see them more. Does that bother you?
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 27th August 2019, 01:24 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
True, but dementia is unrelenting and often progressive. In severe cases people end up in something similar to a persistent vegetative state, sometimes described as "lights on but nobody's home." From a strictly economic point of view, what use is it in keeping such a person alive when they're already just a step short of being dead?

<snip>
I agree with this, however there are problems. Like what is the process that decides that the person should be killed? Then who is to do the deed?

Maybe the answer to the first question should be answered by the person in the vegetative state long before they get into that state. And they nominate persons who can decide for them, that yes the deed should be done as requested. They have a vote and elect one person to do the deed. Training and the tools needed should be given to this person so that the death is quick and certain.
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Old 27th August 2019, 02:43 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Why do you invent a right to this? Is this right in any constitution? What you are actually proposing is a ban against something, i.e. you're proposing eugenics.
What is this crap! Have you bothered to read what I have written, or just decided what you feel in your water is what I am on about. Why this anger for Christ's sake? Does what is being discussed here make you feel uneasy?

Quote:
To your latest post: There seems to be fewer children born with Down's syndrome: Denmark halves Down's births by non-invasive screening in early pregnancy (British Medical Journal, June 23, 2007)
The relevance?

Quote:
That people with Down's syndrome are allowed and encouraged to participate in activities doesn't mean that there are more of them in general. It just means that you see them more. Does that bother you?
Yet more evidence that you haven't read what I said.
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Old 27th August 2019, 03:40 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
What is this crap! Have you bothered to read what I have written, or just decided what you feel in your water is what I am on about. Why this anger for Christ's sake? Does what is being discussed here make you feel uneasy?



The relevance?



Yet more evidence that you haven't read what I said.
Why do you feel this is not eugenics, if I am correct and this is what you feel misunderstand about. A passive form of eugenics perhaps but something that many people would define as eugenics nonetheless. I have read what you posted and it proposes that society make decisions as to the worth of people's lives to that society, versus the cost to that society, and then withhold medical treatment for those not meeting those criteria adequately. Whether they or their family agree.

I have avoided discussing the morality of this (even though I do have strong opposing views): only the practical issues such that it resembles parlor discussions of the ethics of cannibalism: one's position often changes if one finds oneself in a lifeboat. Morality is subjective and you are free to present your views. But I don't see why these views do not fit into the overall grouping of eugenics. Eugenics does not require actively killing those deemed burdens on society.

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Old 27th August 2019, 04:47 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
Why do you feel this is not eugenics, if I am correct and this is what you feel misunderstand about. A passive form of eugenics perhaps but something that many people would define as eugenics nonetheless. I have read what you posted and it proposes that society make decisions as to the worth of people's lives to that society, versus the cost to that society, and then withhold medical treatment for those not meeting those criteria adequately. Whether they or their family agree.

I have avoided discussing the morality of this (even though I do have strong opposing views): only the practical issues such that it resembles parlor discussions of the ethics of cannibalism: one's position often changes if one finds oneself in a lifeboat. Morality is subjective and you are free to present your views. But I don't see why these views do not fit into the overall grouping of eugenics. Eugenics does not require actively killing those deemed burdens on society.
Eugenics | juːˈdʒɛnɪks |
plural noun [treated as singular]
the science of improving a population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics.

I knew this would happen! Some just have to start implying I am in favour of controlled breeding, because I recognise a situation arising, that may have a troublesome outcome. I have specifically stated I don't see an answer and would not be able to make judgments myself.

Next I would expect a Sieg Heil from someone.
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Old 28th August 2019, 01:19 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Succinctly put.

This is the downside I see and cannot see a solution to it. Darwin introduced us to the concept of survival of the fittest. The fittest not necessarily the strongest but the one that fits the world environment. Now medicine is facilitating the survival of more and more who would otherwise perish. The "fittest" is becoming universal.

Modern morality is demanding that all survive - this regardless of the viability of the survivor.
I'm not exactly sure how to put this, but I don't see it as a negative. Think of it as the environment changing.

Imagine an animal that evolved to survive in a very tough environment, let's say very low Ph aquatic environment. Over time the animal finds its way to other aquatic environments where the Ph is not as low and thrives there. In fact, the animal thrives so well that it becomes the dominant species in most aquatic environments.

After many generations it is found that the animal as evolved in other aquatic environments only has about a 10% survival rate when placed in a low Ph aquatic environment, and the population that has remained in the low Ph aquatic environment only has about a 10% survival rate outside of the low Ph aquatic environment.

Which population is genetically better?

As an aside, I would suggest this Radiolab series and this episode in particular as you think about this.
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Old 28th August 2019, 01:52 PM   #36
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My dad worried about that a lot, as a doctor. Saving people who would have died from bad genetics or chronic illnesses is one thing. Them passing on their bad genes is another. One the one hand, who are we to say some person should be forbidden to have children, but on the other, should we be encouraging the spread of those genes?

One of the reasons my kids aren't having kids is that there *are* some pretty bad genes in the family tree and they don't feel it's right to inflict those problems on generations unborn.

But if you try to talk to someone else about that, you're treading in eugenics territory and it can get very ugly. It's a quandary.
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Old 28th August 2019, 03:11 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
I'm not exactly sure how to put this, but I don't see it as a negative. Think of it as the environment changing.
I don't necessarily see it as a negative either. A significant change in the environment is the increasing role of medicine, making the environment habitable by those, who would otherwise find it not so.

Quote:
Imagine an animal that evolved to survive in a very tough environment, let's say very low Ph aquatic environment. Over time the animal finds its way to other aquatic environments where the Ph is not as low and thrives there. In fact, the animal thrives so well that it becomes the dominant species in most aquatic environments.

After many generations it is found that the animal as evolved in other aquatic environments only has about a 10% survival rate when placed in a low Ph aquatic environment, and the population that has remained in the low Ph aquatic environment only has about a 10% survival rate outside of the low Ph aquatic environment.

Which population is genetically better?
To me there is no answer to this question.

Quote:
As an aside, I would suggest this Radiolab series and this episode in particular as you think about this.
Thanks for the link. Interesting about the stuff that gets enshrined in law and never used.
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Old 28th August 2019, 03:20 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by deadrose View Post
My dad worried about that a lot, as a doctor. Saving people who would have died from bad genetics or chronic illnesses is one thing. Them passing on their bad genes is another. One the one hand, who are we to say some person should be forbidden to have children, but on the other, should we be encouraging the spread of those genes?

One of the reasons my kids aren't having kids is that there *are* some pretty bad genes in the family tree and they don't feel it's right to inflict those problems on generations unborn.

But if you try to talk to someone else about that, you're treading in eugenics territory and it can get very ugly. It's a quandary.

You have it in one there deadrose. I am sure many struggle with this dilemma and I suppose it is commendable that your kids have taken this action - or lack thereof. To impose on others is a different story.
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Old 28th August 2019, 03:46 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Thanks for the link. Interesting about the stuff that gets enshrined in law and never used.
One of the people in that story is a professor at a major university that has a set of conditions that would have classified her as "unfit" in an earlier time. Her story is very interesting as a personal story, but also sheds a bit of light on this. I found the whole series interesting even if it is not all relevant to this discussion.

Like deadrose, I see myself as a part of this picture. I suffered an "injury" as a young man that the doctors said was likely a congenital issue cropping up. Without modern medicine I would have either died or been an opioid addict. There was no third way for my condition a hundred years ago. But today I have kids who are productive, probably more productive than me. I am one of the "weak" ones saved by modern medicine. But I don't think the gene pool suffers from it. Other posters may differ on that.
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Old 28th August 2019, 09:07 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Is there a down side to this?
I suppose there's a down side to everything if you look hard enough
Originally Posted by Venom View Post
You're right Thor 2.

Human overpopulation is serious. The more of us there are, the faster we degrade the environment and accelerate global warming, making it a threat to our survival.
Good example.

By solving lots of other problems, humans have created a new problem.

Global warming would not be a problem if all humans were still living in pre-industrial/pre-modern-medicine/pre-modern-agriculture lifestyles. There would also be much fewer of us.

On balance of course, the up sides of all of these outweigh the down sides.
Abundant food and sedentary modern lifestyles lead to new lifestyle diseases.
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