3 ways of dying

Dying with Alzheimer's is not a choice one makes.

Numbers have it that 13.8 million Americans will have Alzheimer's or some form of dementia by 2050. Currently that number is 5.2 million.
These aren't my numbers, I read them here on NBC's news blog. That is only for one country, the US.

Interestingly the FDA has a proposal out for comments to lower the bar on approving drugs for early stage of Alzheimer's Disease to treat people early before irreversable damage is done. This has caught the attention of the New York Times in this editorial. According to the article there is
no cure to Alzheimer's, in fact current drugs on the market only slow down the deterioration for some time.
The comments section of the article is really worth a read because people express how they or a close relative are affected by the disease. How their lives have changed, how useful it is to plan ahead and the value of having paid for medical care. As importantly are the comments towards accepting to lowering the bar towards FDA approval because we all want a cure even when we dont know the side effects of a potential cure or treatment. A lot of the comments come from elderly people or from those that have had a parent or other close relative affected by the disease. All agree to say that it is a terrible disease wether on drugs or not. Some if affected would enroll into clinical trials in a heart beat!
On the other hand FDA should also ask a high level of proof towards drug efficacy and safety, prior to allowing patients to be administered treatments. Sounds like sell your cake and have it too?  Maybe but in my opinion not incompatible aims. Wasn't the same done for AIDS/HIV ? Only time will tell, or will it be research? Guess where my support goes. Also time to tell our children why certain things such as animal research take place.

Another way of dying is by means of extinction. As above this is an unlikely choice. No one wants to go extinct obviously. Yet it happens. An inability to adapt or change to a new or changing environment. Over-exploitation by a predator for example, usually humans, or the consequences of an asteroid or comet impacting earth, a volcano that clouds the skies for weeks or months. Some want to repair or change the fate of those that disappear as one can read in this article. I don't know if this is really a good idea, restoring the past or recreating it for a present day environment. Sure research can help. Should we not nevertheless preserve habitat or change our attitudes towards preserving habitat? No use re-introducing wild life if there's no habitat for it.
Mass extinctions can also be the result of disease or plagues. These affect animals and humans. Research may find answers from those species and organisms we preserve and help all to thrive in the spirit of biodiversity and sustainable use.

Building knowledge through the sacrifice of animals, finding cures, treatments, food and clothing is most likely the hardest endeavour for mankind because we are aware of  what it takes.  Perhaps the early realization thereof has gotten some of us to think about good or bad, life and death, the need to thank those sacrificed, as it - the need to survive through killing animals - has been there from the start.  As we collectively try to make the world a better place it is worth our time to realize how we have gotten where we are at now, what it has taken and what it will continue to take, the sacrifice of animals for our collective survival. Unless as some suggest the world goes vegan (no offense to vegetarians) or animal sentiency (no offense to animals) primes human needs.  Neither of the three ways of dying is choosen, yet the last way, I think stands out for us all because it is by far the best way of using death to our common advantage in our quests to survival and saving or improving lives.


1 comment:

  1. Alzheimer's Disease is a form of dementia — a disease that damages the brain's intellectual functions.

    Alzheimer’s clinic Toronto