Mortality

"Morphology, Longevity, Incept Date" (the dilemma of a Nexus 6, in Blade Runner, from the novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep, by Philip K. Dick).

We homosapients of the "techno-developed world" have similar dilemmas and issues surrounding mortality and "life-extensionism" (the Alcore Institute, alcor.org; the Methuselah Foundation, methuselahfoundation.org; Life Extension Network, lef.org) and assisted/encouraged suicide.

In light of certain scientific advances (if it can be done it will be done), there is a need to examine a key conundrum of modern human existence: care-giving at the end of life. Lack of wisdom in knowing how to respond to the fact of universal human mortality is a problem which has been greatly exacerbated over the last century by medical science and the pharmaceutical industry. If the military-industrial complex ruled much of the 20th century, a runaway scientific-pharmaceutical industrial complex dominates much of the 21st. Medically assisted suicide is becoming one of our culture's primary responses to the uncomfortable human condition of being mortal. As a counter-cultural alternative, assisted dying challenges our culture's tendency to that easier option, assisted suicide.

Medieval hospitals (such as the 14th century Hospital of Santa Maria Della Scala, Siena, Italy) didn't have the knowledge to "keep death at bay"; yet they afforded monks, nuns, "doctors," nurses and volunteers an opportunity to develop the art of preparing for and practicing for the end of life. This existential art form has been mostly lost to us in the "developed world" of the 21st century.

But what are the stories behind the news? Thus the present project.  --K. D. Kragen

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