Should medical science always seek to prolong life?
by 09S45 TAN YANG EN
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How should we define medical science?
Advanced therapies or genetic
engineering? Or BOTH? i.e.Prolonging
life through medical science is defined
as the use of advanced therapies to
cure fatal diseases and the use of
genetic engineering to artificially
modify human genes to give us a
higher life expectancy.
Issue of inequality
Who will be able to receive the medical
treatment to prolong life? The rich? Then
it discriminates against those who
cannot afford the treatment.
e.g. Pre-implantation Genetic
Diagnosis as seen in the
movie Gattaca, which select
certain qualities in an
embryo cell., If that happens, the society will be divided into
two extreme classes, one is natural people, the
other is selected people.
Legend: Zhang Yue (blue)
Bu Chi (green) Jia Ying
(red) Sai (orange) Yang
A question of moral
values and ethics VS
will/desire of the
person (what is best
In reality, if the person is already experiencing so
much pain and torture while he's already living on this
earth, there's no point putting him through so much
to prolong his life. Mercy killing a better choice?
Instead of euthanasia, palliative care
can be given to lessen the patient's
The objective of doctors in modern times,
while prolonging lives, would be to alleviate
suffering and at times, ending a life is the
only way to do that.
it should seek to prolong life because ideally, a longer life
expectancy of existing patients/ people would take away the
temporal pain and sadness that family members and friends
would experience from the death of a loved one
All doctors have to take
the Hippocratic Oath
which in summary states
that doctors should
always do their best to
How far can life be prolonged
before human beings cease to be
1. Is quality of life maintained?
2. How is life extended?
New treatments for cancer that
affects many people around the
Economic Impact of extending
Can the Earth sustain a
population that is much larger?
10 - 12 Billion
Is the life extension accompanied by a
increased period of productivity? i.e Working
age group is larger
Without the help of medical
science, many valuable lives would
Such as Stephen Hawking who contributed
greatly to the society despite having an
illness because of the help of medical
Depends on how much
people value their
lives- What do we
purchase for our
Whether the longevity is more important than the
quality of our life. The endless life may diminish the
value of the limited life which is what we are