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Craig
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:56 pm    Post subject: Which diseases should get priority? Reply with quote

This is a tough topic to discuss but an interesting one. Given the announcement of money for AIDS today I have to ask the question. Assuming we have a limited amount of money to devote to diseases (research and treatment) and therefore can't give endless money to them all, which diseases should be given priority.

1. Behavioural diseases like AIDS that are primarily acquired through risky choices.

2. Largely genetic (hereditary) diseases like breast cancer.

3. Combination diseases like heart disease and diabetes which have a genetic and behavioural component.

4. Diseases of unknown origin like Parkinson's that may be environmental

One could argue that the best cure for all diseases is evolution not money. Your thoughts....
biggie





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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest a combination of 2 and 3.

1 - is ruled out for the very reason that it is mostly behavioral. Although it is important to treat the condition, it is primarily acquired through risky choices, therefore largely preventable.. Personal responsibility is important - and given an option on where to prioritize, it's got to be someplace that is not often caused by poor choices.

4 - is something that needs to be looked at as well, but I wouldn't set it as a priority. Their relatively unknown nature makes it very expensive to research, and even with some breakthroughs on origins - it would be difficult to take that next step into curing. Also, these types of illness kill fewer people than 2&3.

2 - conditions like cancers claim a great deal of lives and cost the medical system a fortune, but there is little one can do to prevent it - thus, the victims are not responsible for having them.

3 - Heart disease is one of the top killers in this country. Strokes and Heart problems are very closely related. Furthermore, many people are born with risks. Perhaps I am somewhat biased in this one, as all the men in my family have died of heart problems, and my chances of the same are massive. I actually give a good deal of money to the heart and stroke foundation every year for this reason. The other advantage with funding this area is that these are the most likely to be "cured". Between the fact that there are already decent treatments with many people living through heart problems and strokes, and that there are simple ways to reduce risks(to a point), the likelihood of results is great.

Evolution sounds good - but I'd prefer some research as well. Of course, to be honest, I'd much prefer saving all that tax money and being able to contribute to the causes I find apropriate - not having my tax dollars funelling into causes because someone in the government feels that it's the right place for them to go.
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AIDS could be completely eradicated in just a few decades by a concerted effort to abstain. It is funny how most people do not even consider that an option these days; some even say it is an attack on their "rights".

I am all for people doing whatever they want to themselves. Just don't come to me to foot any bills for things you did to yourself; I don't want to be involved. This includes smoking, OD'ing, having drunk sex with strangers, driving drunk, and a raft of other things. You don't have to be Nostradamus to foresee some of the likely results of most of your actions. Maybe that is why people cry the loudest about these sorts of things.
jw





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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Allocation should be by risk to society, then risk to the person. This is a case of thinking like that used in maritime law needs to be applied.

Heart & stroke are probably at the top of the list as the cost to society is massive.

Cancer as a single study is next. The breaking down of cancers into sub-groups causes us all a lot of problems: triply so as the breast cancer association has so much more power than any of the other associations.

After that, the neurological diseases, treated as a single group.

After that, the viral diseases, including Aids, treated as a single group.

Ordering in this way gives us all the best chance.
McGuire





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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AIDS isn't entirely th fault of the contractor. Remember the tainted blood fiasco or the babies of HIV-infected Moms. However those who brought it upon themselves should have to foot their own bill.
biggie





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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

McGuire wrote:
AIDS isn't entirely th fault of the contractor. Remember the tainted blood fiasco or the babies of HIV-infected Moms. However those who brought it upon themselves should have to foot their own bill.


That is why we used the qualifier primarily 8) .
I wouldn't advocate ending funding for it - I would advocate changing the funding to prioritize two things:

top killers and also ones that personal responsibility don't play the biggest factor (Cancer, heart and stroke)
Cool Blue





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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it should be allocated to the top 5 causes of death.

Personally, I think we should be really going after diabetes which is also a leading cause of blindness, heart attacks and strokes.
Mac





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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kwlafayette wrote:
AIDS could be completely eradicated in just a few decades by a concerted effort to abstain. It is funny how most people do not even consider that an option these days; some even say it is an attack on their "rights".

Absolutely agree.

My son was criticized in his high school class for offering his opinion during a discussion about HIV/AIDS. The class watched a short video about a girl who engaged in high-risk behaviour (got drunk, had unprotected sex with someone she barely knew) and contracted HIV.

The question proposed by the teacher was how this woman's story made the students "feel" and each student was asked in turn to express their thoughts. My son said "I know you won't like this but I don't feel sorry for her. She acted irresponsibly and this was the result. It's a sad situation and I feel bad for her but I don't feel sorry for her."

Pretty mature for a 15 year old, eh? The teacher is so "progressive" that I find myself clenching my teeth when I attend parent-teacher interviews. Those who agree with her opinions (she teaches social studies, of course) get good grades. My son's straight 'A' average in every other subject. Her class? Low B. I've asked her what he needs to do to raise his marks and she blathered about him being disorganized (wrong) and messy (wrong) but the bitter reality is... her tests are all subjective and he doesn't stand a chance.

Sorry for the hijack...

-Mac
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