Life/Death

After watching the lectures from this week’s materials I know see how biomedicine is a part of the western culture. Before I had this image in my head that biomedicine was merely our health system that is provided, to an extent, in order to cure, help, and prevent illness and disease. As of now, our biomedical institutions are privatized, reeling in immense amounts of money from those wanting and willing to pay top dollar for their health. Pharmaceutical companies advertisements are seen daily by society but we have become so accustomed to them over the decades as they too have become a part of our culture. Commercials for biomedical surgeries to enhance an individual’s beauty are seen regularly. We are surrounded by biomedicine whether we notice it or not.

The dichotomy of life and death seems as though it would be like night and day, but when you really think about it, I ask myself, “what does it mean to be alive?” I have thought about it before. If I were to get into a traumatic accident of some sort and end up bedridden for the rest of my life, hooked to a ventilator and unable to feed myself, bath, use the restroom by myself. This is what our society sometimes refer to as a “vegetable.” Is that living? Not being able to breathe on your own, to move your own muscles? Biologically you still have function, but very little. Personally, if that were my case, I wouldn’t call myself alive, despite what doctors would say. Like me, I feel that some people view life and death as something with value, in a sense, something you attain. If the above example were my state of “living” I personally would want death, I would have no value to my life. In our society, living is to be alive with biological functioning and death is to have none. It seems that there is a clear distinction between to the two, but if you ask yourself what you can value about life, the answer may not be as clear anymore.

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