Saturday, May 9, 2015
Quality of life
Longevity is not the be all. Being isn't just a matter of continuing to be alive and staving off death as much as we can. What's more crucial when the medical community and the patient and his/her family feel they're facing the final curtain is quality of life, or more to the point, the quality of remaining life. In the contest between mere quantity and marked quality, the latter surely must trump the former. Life extension makes sense only if the additional days, weeks, months that we can buy aren't spent in unremitting pain and suffering, in unending rushes to the ER, or in being incarcerated to the very end in a hospital with a welter of wires and tubes dangling off our face and body. Life is worth prolonging only if we are not consigned to living out the rest of our days in a hell on earth. We must rage against the dying of the light. And old age should burn and rave. But only if there is still a life worth living.