Eternal Life or Eugenics?

gung_hobo

Old-Salt
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30558112

In short the NHS is to look at DNA for causes and cures for a number of diseases.

It is perfectly reasonable to assume success for a number of diseases/illnesses. But if genetic causes are identified and cures or time is bought presumably at huge cost for many, how will we pay for the new cures? Who do we target (by age, sex or race?), and who is excluded?

Note: If it is a "niche" disease that doesn't affect too many people then the costs of treatment can be absorbed within the whole Health budget. But for the sake of argument a "cure" is identified for heart attacks or strokes (and there are dispositions to these), that is determined to be widespread, how can it be paid for and if it is rationed then who gets "the cure"?

Are there circumstances (other than financial), where a "cure" is refused? Will research focus on or have results in perhaps "boutique" illnesses if such a term can be used? I.e. Is it a mainstream, widespread issue or a relatively rare and perhaps inconsequential illness?

Does everyone have a right to potentially very expensive treatment and if so, how is it paid for?

Personally I applaud the research. However to take one currently topical issue, what if the first break throughs are for emphysema and lung cancer. Would public opinion applaud the cost of treatment for those that have already paid a lot of tax on their fix or would this area not be targeted despite the large number of people who die from these diseases whether partially self-inflicted or not, after all if it is in the genes then a smoker has just speeded things up a bit.

A serious question about the whole issue with a few examples highlighted to kick off debate.
 
Which bit?
Sorry, I was replying to the OP and got in a bit late. Most of the questions about rationing of healthcare are answered by NICE as they're there to advise on clinical outcomes versus bang-for-buck.

It's not a job I'd like but if we're going to have decisions made about who does and doesn't get treatments I'm glad our 'Death Panels' consist of clinicians considering medical data rather than HMO managers considering their shareholder dividend.
 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30558112

In short the NHS is to look at DNA for causes and cures for a number of diseases.

It is perfectly reasonable to assume success for a number of diseases/illnesses. But if genetic causes are identified and cures or time is bought presumably at huge cost for many, how will we pay for the new cures? Who do we target (by age, sex or race?), and who is excluded?

Note: If it is a "niche" disease that doesn't affect too many people then the costs of treatment can be absorbed within the whole Health budget. But for the sake of argument a "cure" is identified for heart attacks or strokes (and there are dispositions to these), that is determined to be widespread, how can it be paid for and if it is rationed then who gets "the cure"?

Are there circumstances (other than financial), where a "cure" is refused? Will research focus on or have results in perhaps "boutique" illnesses if such a term can be used? I.e. Is it a mainstream, widespread issue or a relatively rare and perhaps inconsequential illness?

Does everyone have a right to potentially very expensive treatment and if so, how is it paid for?

Personally I applaud the research. However to take one currently topical issue, what if the first break throughs are for emphysema and lung cancer. Would public opinion applaud the cost of treatment for those that have already paid a lot of tax on their fix or would this area not be targeted despite the large number of people who die from these diseases whether partially self-inflicted or not, after all if it is in the genes then a smoker has just speeded things up a bit.

A serious question about the whole issue with a few examples highlighted to kick off debate.
If you have or catch a disease due primarily to your lifestyle choices then you should pay for any bespoke cure that has been made just for you. Costs can of course be reduced if the cure is usable by more people.

If or when we get the ability to show that someone is genetically predisposed to getting say lung cancer if they smoke (as opposed to now when it is only a statistical probability) then anyone who still smokes after being told about it should have no call on public money for a cure.

Of course having said that the next argument is what construes a lifestyle choice? Does where you live and work count as being in big city can be deadly for anyone with the right/wrong genetic make up so why not move to the country or the sea side?
 
I discovered recently I have an inherited medical condition so I'm pleased to hear about this NHS DNA research. It's likely the investment will reap dividends for taxpayers in the long run; if nasty and all too common diseases like Parkinsons can be better treated, or even reversed, care costs will plummet.

In answer to where the money comes from, maybe we could start by cutting this kind of thing:

http://www.uhbristol.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/your-hospitals/bristol-homeopathic-hospital/#
 
Last edited:
Who would want to live forever? Unless they crack whatever it is that makes us grow old, eternal life is pointless.
 

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top