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to wonder what the hell we're actually going to die of

(84 Posts)
RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Wed 23-Nov-16 10:24:42

I've wanted to ask this for a while but have held off for fear of being insensitive. So if you are someone with a relative ill at the moment I apologise in advance if my question is upsetting at all.

But it is a genuine AIBU to ask if the aim is to cure everyone of cancer/heart disease/everything what is going to be left for us to die of/with?

RoseGoldHippie Wed 23-Nov-16 10:27:15

Peacefully in old age has always been my goal

TheWitTank Wed 23-Nov-16 10:27:25

Old age? Accidents?

seminakedinsomebodyelsesroom Wed 23-Nov-16 10:28:30

Superbugs probably, due to our over use of antibiotics. It will be grim!

DrQuinzel Wed 23-Nov-16 10:29:09

I wonder the same. I used to work in care homes and felt absolutely awful force-feeding almost 100 year old women with dementia, because although they were declining food they were deemed not to have capacity. Some of them had cancer and their families were insistent on them having treatment.

Hence why I already have an advanced directive, as do both my parents.

OhhBetty Wed 23-Nov-16 10:29:15

There's all kinds of things we die of. And I've been with many elderly people at the ebd of their lives. Many just feel ready to go and just "give in" to the inevitable.
There are also new diseases which will probably play a part in it. Plus with antibiotics becoming less effective for certain people there will be a whole host of problems.

So don't worry, chances are we'll still all die smile

YelloDraw Wed 23-Nov-16 10:30:07

Superbugs probably, due to our over use of antibiotics. It will be grim


MadameCholetsDirtySecret Wed 23-Nov-16 10:30:10

Based on another thread some will die of cervical cancer. hmm

Ginmakesitallok Wed 23-Nov-16 10:30:13

The aim isn't to stop people dying - it's to stop people dying prematurely.

NathanBarleyrocks Wed 23-Nov-16 10:32:14

DrQuinzel Same here. I don't understand the insistence on prolonging life when someone has no quality of life. This is obviously a very personal thing but for me, if I was bed-bound with no chance of getting well, I wouldn't want to carry on.

Crazy789 Wed 23-Nov-16 10:33:44

But what is classed as a premature death ?70 / 80 /90 - surely it's just getting higher. ?

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Wed 23-Nov-16 10:34:07

But if the aim is to eradicate everything (and new antibiotics are being researched with good results so far). Then what is there left?

Alzheimers, Parkinsons - all being researched to cure but we all have to die of something in the end and I don't think we can all rely on accidents to take us off!

DP wants everything to be curable but I personally don't (which I accept is probably U to most people).

ShowMePotatoSalad Wed 23-Nov-16 10:34:13

In very simple terms we die because our cells die. Complete cell death in our vital organs would obviously cause death. But when people "die of old age", that isn't necessarily the reason - it can often be caused by illness (and many elderly people have multi-morbidities ie lots of different illnesses). Our immune system deteriorates with age and a compromised immune system can lead to death by pneumonia and other illnesses than can be treated effectively in younger, healthier patients.

idontlikealdi Wed 23-Nov-16 10:36:33

But what's prematurely now? I don't want to be kept going with dementia or some hideous quality of life. Having seen it happen to older relatives it's hideous.

Ifailed Wed 23-Nov-16 10:38:12

We hadn't really heard of Alzheimer's, until recently. I suspect many people who would have gone on and developed died before hand, either from cancer, heart disease etc. I would guess there are other diseases lurking in the corners that will take on the role of grim reaper if ever Alzheimer's is treatable.
Don't forget, an awful lot of elderly people die from flu, pneumonia etc every year, sadly as we age our bodies abilities to fight off such infections diminishes.

pigsDOfly Wed 23-Nov-16 10:38:16

Unlikely to happen soon enough for any one who is an adult now to worry too much about.

We're all living too long as it is and no doubt nature will continue to find ways to fight science's attempts to make humans immortal.

Perhaps science will find ways to cure those particular diseases which is wonderful for young/middle aged people but I'm not sure I'd want to slowly rot away into a long old age.

Unless they can actually find a way to completely stop the aging process I'd rather go before I get too old. I'm a very healthy 68 so probably a lot near that prospect than a lot of people on here but I really wouldn't relish the idea of going on forever; just want the end to be painless and quick, and not yet, obviously.

BabyGanoush Wed 23-Nov-16 10:40:36

don't worry OP, antibiotics are close to not working any more.

We'll all start dying again of pneumonia and septicaemia and infected wounds, infected gums, tonsillitis and campylobacter/salmonella and things like that.

Fun days ahead hmm

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Wed 23-Nov-16 10:45:10

Baby you say it like it's a bad thing - but surely dying painlessly is what we want and it doesn't really matter at the end what it is that takes you off.

StStrattersOfMN Wed 23-Nov-16 10:45:24

I sincerely doubt we will ever conquer bacteria or viruses.

SlottedSpoon Wed 23-Nov-16 10:52:07

I agree with you OP. Last week there was a thing on the news that Alzeimers has now taken over from heart disease as the number one killer in the UK.

This is sort of good news in a a way as it means that great strides are being made in treatments and preventative measures for both cancer and heart disease and more and more people are living long enough to develop dementia in old age.

But no doubt it has caused Alzeimers charities and organisations to feel they are justified in needing more funding to conquer or 'cure' Alzeimers.

The simple truth is that few of us will be lucky enough to lie down to sleep one night as a perfectly fit, healthy and lucid 95 year old and not wake up again.

TheSparrowhawk Wed 23-Nov-16 10:56:00

There's no need to conquer bacteria or viruses - what we need to conquer is the human immune system. Once we develop the ability to control that fully (and we already have the ability to control it quite a lot) disease will become a thing of the past. Just as we look back at people dying of childhood illnesses in their millions now and feel shocked, our descendants will feel shocked at the number of us who were killed by cancer, MS etc.

As for what we'll die of, the most likely thing is starvation due to over manipulation of crops leading to famine.

SlottedSpoon Wed 23-Nov-16 10:56:43

And as others have said upthread I view a longer average lifespan as a very mixed blessing. Of course I'd like to make reasonably old bones but only if I have reasonable levels of health, mobility and an active brain to go with it.

I see no great attraction in being too tired to move far from an armchair for the last 25 years of my life. There's only so much daytime TV you can nap in front of. My mother does this all day every day already and struggles to walk very far due to a mixture of ailments and being overweight, and she's only 70. The thought of having to live her life for another 30 years is really quite depressing.

RebeccaWithTheGoodHair Wed 23-Nov-16 10:57:07

Sparrowhawk that is not the best news!

BabyGanoush Wed 23-Nov-16 10:58:37

Rebecca, it IS a bad thing, really bad, as it would affect children equally, and grown ups.

Not just old people!

If it wasn't for anti-b's neither of my kids would be here today. Nor me!

TheSparrowhawk Wed 23-Nov-16 11:00:10

Yeah, it's a bit shit alright. We'll be too old to struggle for food so we're the most likely ones to go first. Hey ho we might all get nuked first. Best to live in a target zone though - you absolutely do not want to survive that one!

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