Extending Human Life vs Quality of Life

Throughout human history, we have pushed the boundaries of science and technology to extend lifespans. New innovations in the last century such as vaccinations, new machinery and new forms of medicine continually advance as we strive to beat disease and extend the human lifespan. With many people asking questions online such as what are paid research studies? And how do I check for cancer it shows an awareness of human health that has never been seen before.

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But at what point do we start to wonder about the reasoning behind all of this – after all you can extend a persons life for much longer thanks to modern science, but what sort of quality of life does that actually give them? For example, many cancer patients turn down enduring months of gruelling chemotherapy that could extend their lifespan, opting instead to enjoy their last months on holiday and spending time with family whilst they are able to.

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With the current Covid 19 crisis, this argument has taken centre stage, with people wondering whether the risk of death is worth running the risk of, rather than a life effectively incarcerated at home. For many elderly people, this could be their last few years of life – and what a lonely few years they will be if they are not allowed and form of physical human contact. Babies are being born that are unable to meet family, celebrations that would normally be happy are tinged with the loneliness of isolation. You have to wonder what is the point of it all?

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