[extropy-chat] Are vaccinations useless?

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 14 00:56:25 UTC 2006

--- Hal Finney <hal at finney.org> wrote:

> Most advice about medicine comes from doctors, who
> are generally not
> disinterested parties on these questions,
> particularly not the big
> question of the overall value of medicine.

Surgeons and emergency medicine by themselves save
countless lives every year that would normally be
lost. Moreover they improve the quality of life
tremendously. My maternal grandfather was run over by
a bus in the 1920's and lost his leg as a result of
it. I was ran over by a semi tractor-trailer on my
motorcycle almost two years ago (it literally ran over
my legs) and the paramedics, orthopedic surgeons,
antibiotics, and other aspects of medical care helped
me to walk again in 3 months time. You can sit there
and hem and haw about how many months a particular
treatment or vaccine may add to a person's life, but
if you ARE that person you will realize that medicine
today is orders of magnitude better than it was at the
turn of the last century.

I am not even an M.D. so I can only imagine what Rafal
and the others who are, must feel when they read this
stuff. Medicine is far from perfect and it can't
extend life beyond, for lack of a better term, the
body's design specifications YET, but it certainly has
its uses. Whether that utility justifies its enormous
cost is separate matter of debate, but I will stand by
the field of medicine as a whole as being a true good
of modern society.


Stuart LaForge
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science [...] Believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he now is, it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress" 
- St. Darwin

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