Cost of long life

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A STUDY into the effects of increased life expectancy, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been published as seven papers in the Lancet.

It found few of the extra years were healthy ones and the result was to increase the time we live with depression and chronic, painful diseases that cripple but do not kill.

It rather endorsed the cynical medical “advice” that no-one over the age of 50 should give up any bad habits, because their only reward was an extra five years in a nursing home.

Washington University’s Global Burden of Disease study found nations face a wave of financial and social costs from rising numbers of people living with disease and injury. At present, the alternative of obtaining medical assistance to jump off the carousel at a moment of our choosing is opposed by all the usual suspects – but its time will come.

Dr John Cameron

Howard Place,
St Andrews, Fife