Mistrusting The Government - Classic Examples


Posted on : 7/22/2010 04:24:00 PM | By : Dann | In : , , ,

There are good reasons why I do not trust the government when it comes to my health.  They have a demonstrably long track record of considering my health to be of secondary importance to their ability to do....something.

As this post demonstrates:

This is a dead end street.  The FDA does not recognize aging as a treatable condition and only approves treatment for "Disease."  Since Alzheimer's is not a Disease but a predictable variant of  aging, the only treatments allowed and currently being developed are those that slow down the progression of the "Disease."  Alzheimer's could quite likely be cured if the money now spent developing means to slow down the condition were devoted to finding ways to directly remove the toxic neurofibrillary tangles that form the Alzheimer's plaques.

It gets worse.  Because the FDA only evaluates treatments for Diseases, and its definition of disease versus aging is completely arbitrary (why is Type II Diabetes a disease while Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass and function that accompanies aging, is not?) we are forced to develop treatments that primarily address symptoms rather than either repairing damage or rejuvenating systems.  In such a bureaucratized environment we might well be better off as mice than men:

Gene Therapy Trains Immune Cells Against Cancer

Some day you'll be able to get your immune cells reprogrammed to go on hunter killer attack missions against tumors.
Researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center created a large, well armed battalion of tumor-seeking immune system cells and watched, in real time using Positron Emission Tomography (PET), as the special forces traveled throughout the body to locate and attack dangerous melanomas.
But for now this sort of thing only gets done for those tricky lab mice who have done such a great job of convincing researchers into developing medical treatments for them first.

If I had terminal cancer and a large sum of money I'd hire medical researchers to do this to my own immune system.

 I don't go all wishy-washy around here very much.  And not very much truly terrifies me beyond the occasional vampire dream.

But I am terrified of growing old.  I watched my Grandmother slowly drift away with Alzheimer's.  I'm seeing some of the same pre-behaviors in my dad.  I'm seeing them in me, too.

And the thought of drifting off into a darkness where thought and conviction and humor and spontaneity and inventiveness and everything else that makes my life worth having slips away quite simply terrifies me.  To have rational thought be uncatchable like smoke.  To have memories sought but never quite found.  To be a rat caught in a maze for which there is no end.

I can imagine few things more terrifying.

Except being in such a condition and having one's government deny the development or application of successful treatments in order that we not inconvenience regulators with the messy problem of occasionally being wrong.

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