Saturday, February 25, 2006

Sums it up well

August 26 11:05 PM

Was reading in September 2005's Popular Science an article about the reactions and ramifications of severe manipulation of the human body in the pursuit of wellness (including DNA, new designer drugs, etc). And just thought I would share this one part of the article that I think pretty much sums things up here in the USA:

"The great promise of technology in Western civilization is that it will make all of our lives better. ... The same applies in medicince. It is those high on the socioeconomic ladder who are most likely to hear about a medical innovation, to understand its implications ... and to be able to afford it (whether thanks to health insurance or deep pockets). During the past few decades, the U.S. has had an unprecedented economic boom, has been at the core of the biotech revolution, and has spent the highest percentage of its GDP on health care of any country on Earth. Despite that, we rank something like 29th in life expectancy, in large part because we're moving in the direction of a dichotomized nation -- where our urban poor are elderly by age 60, crippled with heart disease, obesity and diabetes, while our wealthy septuagenarians are wrestling with the decision of whether to go for knee replacement this close to ski season. The best of our biomedical science doesnt always trickle down very far."
Robert Sapolsky
Professor of Neuroscience at Stanford, a MacArthur "genius" Fellow, and aurthor of five books including Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers

Trouble is that it's not just the urban poor who are showing signs of this issue. Welcome to the new "have's vs. have-not's" war, your own health and life.

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