Monday, February 11, 2008

Who wants to live forever?

It may be helpful to regard this as a modest proposal sort of thing. Or, then again, it may not...

"A medical friend once told me that if everybody in the UK were to stop smoking, the NHS would collapse. I thought she was offering that old chestnut about smokers and drinkers handing over billions to the state in tax, but it was more subtle argument than that. Her point was that it's much cheaper to treat a 50-year-old who's taking 18 months to die of lung cancer than it is to treat a 90-year-old who's spent the last 20 years slowly fading away from a cocktail of osteoporosis, angina, pneumonia, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and non-specific decrepitude..."

Read the full spiel here.

And in a similarly glum mood, RIP Roy Scheider, who effectively recorded his own wake nearly 30 years ago.

6 comments:

Rimshot said...

There's an old joke about how foolish all the health nuts will feel when they're 90 years old, lying in a hospital bed and dying of nothing in particular, but I can't recall how it goes. (I suffer from Sometimers)

Valerie said...

Well, I don't know. My grandmothers both died in their 90s with all their wits intact, still interesting, still interacting. I'd prefer the longest possible life with my wits and senses functioning.

Then again, I am on day six of a bad case of influenza, just barely out of bed and on the couch some of the day, my first day able to cope with the computer for more than a few minutes at a time. So it's easy to imagine a prolonged and ugly infection carrying me off after months of nothing-at-all. I agree — that wouldn't do.

You've got us all on a bit of a downer, Tim! From the death of blogs to the blog of death.

Which reminds me of some good reading I should re-read: Gene Wolfe's "Death of Doctor Island," "Doctor of Death Island" and "The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories." I highly recommend them if you're in a fit of morbid humours.

Tim Footman said...

I have exactly the same problem, Rimshot. I think.

Not The Death Island Doctor, Valerie? Wolfe missed a trick there.

dh said...

Well he's only 76....still time.

llewtrah said...

Yay Logan's Run (I loved the 70s series).

I vary from wanting to be immortal just to see what the human race does next to not wanting to be immortal because humans are going to hell in a handcart and it's all going downhill. I'd like to be immortal but not increasingly decrepit.

Tim Footman said...

76 Deaths on the Island... Death of 76 Doctors... Doctor of 76 Islands...

Hell is downhill, isn't it, Llewtrah? Handcart or not. Is a handcart one of those things they have on railway lines in Westerns, btw? With Walter Brennan and SlimPickens on opposite handles?