Monday, September 18, 2006

In the Year 2525

Two things that I think will eventually happen, that right now most people would think would never happen.

One: we will chip our children. If you have a pet you know that a small computer chip can be put under their skin, so if they are lost and then found, an electronic wand can be passed over them and they can be returned to their owner. This technology is too easy to sell to parents that in order to protect all our children they will need to be chipped and all the children will be registered in a national database. It will be sold so that we can protect our children. We will also be able to probably track them via GPS like the lo-jack system. The fact that the government will have database and a way to track every human being born from a certain time will be wiped away by the people who sell the SAFETY of our children. Plus, why should you care if the government can track you as long as you aren't doing anything wrong. I would be surprised if DNA samples aren't somehow obtained at the same time. Fight against this type of idea, no matter what the rationale. This is wrong and would lead to worse things then most of us could imagine. The idea will start to be floated within the next five years.

Two: euthanasia is okay for older terminal patients. The aging baby boomers and the crush that they will put on the health care system will begin to bankrupt all of our resources. Therefore more and more States will look for ways to stem the bleeding. Ultimately the idea will be floated as a humanitarian gesture to save people from suffering. It will come in increments as first only the most severe situations, but ultimately it will be widen and become an morale dilemma for the generation in charge. You only have so much money to spend and you can't save everyone, so harder choices will have to be made. It will be sold as a benefit for the people receiving it.

I could be wrong, but I think both ideas will eventually be pushed into the main stream.


  1. I think you're correct.

    Humanity is too prone to corruption - especially when presented with large levels of power - for either of these ideas to be any good.

  2. IF man is still alive...

  3. Scipio - Glad someone else remembers the song.

  4. We already chip our kids. Give them a cell phone with a GPS device hidden in it and you know that Sally isn't at Susie's like she said, she's with Timmy bumping uglies behind the 7-11 in the dumpster. And the stupid kids willingly take the cell phones no questions asked. Kids also take it for granted that their parents won't check their myspace pages. Sadly, few parents do. But if you do you will find a treasure trove of everything your kid is doing that they don't want you to know about. And there's also a device you can buy for your teen's car that let's you spy on their driving. It records top speeds and other info you can use to bust those punks. So the chip thing is already here.
    As for allowing the deaths of terminal patients, you're dreaming if you think that's ever gonna come to pass. Doctors and hospitals want to get every cent they can out of you before you cash in your chips. It serves their interests to keep you alive, no matter how poor the quality of your life might be, for as long as they can. We live in a culture that holds to the belief that life is precious. Tell me how precious it is when you're wheelchair bound, crapping in your own pants 3 times a day, can't eat solid food anymore and don't recognize your loved ones due to dementia. Tell me about the beauty of life when every second is gut-wrenching pain and it hurts to move, even the wiggling of a toe. Yet society clings to the ideal that life in any form is worth holding onto. Doesn't make sense to me.

  5. Cell phones aren't the same as chiping your kids - they can leave the phone at home. Chiping people is a scary idea and I'd hate to see something like that come to pass. As for euthanasia, I have to say that I agree with Jeff - our society is so insanely pro-life that I think such a step would take much longer to become a part of society.

  6. I have to disagree with both Jeff and Cshiana about euthanasia - all that will be required is that America's health care system become a socialist system that reflects the European and Canadian systems. Look at the Dutch - not only is euthanasia allowed, but the doctors have actually been taking it upon themselves to dispatch with handicapped infants as well, often without bothering to consult the parents. Even though that activity is still *technically* illegal, the doctors are never arrested or charged for it.

    Plus, Jeff, you're forgetting people's natural tenacity and desire to cling to life no matter what the odds - while a few people do indeed want to see their existence ended rather than be in pain and degraded, there is a much larger percentage that will hang on to life as long as they possibly can.

    That being said, I do think that we have a tendency to use too many extreme measures for prolonging life. Once it reaches a certain point, hospice care until the patient dies a natural death seems preferable to keeping them barely alive by being hooked to a bunch of machines and given a bunch of drugs to go with it.

    Jim - what song, out of curiosity?

  7. Arielle - the song is "In the Year 2525" by Zager & Evans a big hit in the year 1969.

    The Lyrics

    In the year 2525
    If man is still alive
    If woman can survive they may find

    In the year 3535
    Ain't gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies
    Everything you think, do and say
    Is in the pill you took today

    In the year 4545
    Ain't gonna need your teeth, won't need your eyes
    You won't find a thing to chew
    Nobody's gonna look at you

    In the year 5555
    Your arms hanging limp at your sides
    Your legs got nothing to do
    Some machine's doing that for you

    In the year 6565
    Ain't gonna need no husband, won't need no wife
    You'll pick your son, pick your daughter too
    From the bottom of a long glass tube, whoa-oh

    In the year 7510
    If God's a-comin' He oughta make it by then
    Maybe He'll look around Himself and say
    Guess it's time for the judgment day

    In the year 8510
    God is gonna shake His mighty head
    He'll either say I'm pleased where man has been
    Or tear it down and start again, whoa-oh

    In the year 9595
    I'm kinda wonderin' if man is gonna be alive
    He's taken everything this old Earth can give
    And he ain't put back nothin', whoa-oh

    Now it's been ten thousand years
    Man has cried a billion tears
    For what he never knew
    Now man's reign is through

    But through eternal night
    The twinkling of starlight
    So very far away
    Maybe it's only yesterday

    In the year 2525
    If man is still alive
    If woman can survive, they may find

    In the year 3535 {fade}

  8. Arielle,

    I will have to share a story that will have me in tears as I type. My father died 3 years ago of a disease called Lewey Body dementia or Parkinson's Plus. His death has had a traumatic effect on my entire family, all 8 of his offspring. I quit my job so I could take care of my Pops as insurance doesn't cover dementia and he needed 24 hour care. For 3 years I did my best to keep him out of a nursing home or hospitalized care. Slowly he lost his mental faculties, which were expansive as my Dad was a genius. I, along with the rest of my family, had to watch him whither away, both physically and mentally, over the course of 5 years. My gourmet cooking got my Pops up to 192 lbs., the most he ever weighed. At the time of his death, he weighed a mere 90 lbs. He couldn't recognize his own children and was bound to a wheelchair. He was not in any pain, but it was heartbreaking to see a man I always considered invincible in such a sorry state. I prayed to God to end his life every day. There is no cure for his condition and it is a gruesome death. On top of that, it cost some $3,500-$7,000 a month depending on what state you live in, all uncovered by insurance, to pay for the care needed. My father was only in a facility for 2 years, but that was the hardest 2 years of my entire life. I suppose I could have taken a pillow and snuffed him out, but when faced with that situation, knowing that he was not in pain but not really living either, it's painfully hard to know what to do. I am still riddled with guilt that I couldn't take care of my Father by myself in his home til the end of his life, but getting up 3 times a night to change his diapers along with all the other things I had to do for him got to me after 3 years. While on one hand I wish he could have been given a huge dose of pain killers to end his condition, would I really have wanted to lose those last few years of time we had together? The point is, no one can undo death. It seems always better to err on the side of life. To this day I miss my Father immensely. I was sad to see the horrible way in which he died, but I wouldn't have missed those last days with him for anything in the world. Even if we were just sitting outside holding each other's hands, those moments will be forever imprinted on my mind. It's a tough thing to do and I don't think society will ever embrace the premature ending of a life. That's my 2 cents.

  9. Jeff,

    I find it pretty impressive that you were able to care for him as long as you were - many people would not have even tried in the first place, let alone stuck it out so long.

    I believe that no healthy society will embrace the premature ending of a life. I don't think our society is a very healthy one, though.

    Take the much-publicized case of Terri Schiavo. Contrary to what her husband reported, she was not a vegetable. She had, instead, the mentality of an infant. She could recognize people and have a limited interaction with them - the only thing wrong with her physically was that she could not swallow on her own (and her parents were prevented from testing to see if this was actually still true or not). Despite the fact that her parents were quite willing to take over for Schiavo's husband in the matter of her care, the courts still ordered that her feeding tube be removed - which meant days of an agonizing death by starvation and dehydration. (My son, only a year old at the time, was unable to feed himself - yet if I had let him go days without food until he died, I would have been arrested for murder.)

    That's why I believe that Jim is accurate in believing that euthanasia will become legal in the US.