Aging and the Goals of Medicine
Hastings Center Report. 1994 Sep-Oct; 24(5): 39-41.
...The goals of medicine in the face of biological aging should be, above all, to target those physical and mental conditions that tend to rob old age of human meaning and social significance. Medicine cannot create that meaning, which must come from individual reflection and social policy and practices. But it can enhance the background physical and mental conditions necessary to make that task a little easier. Yet it can only do so if it strenuously resists that most powerful of all medical temptations, the vision of a direct and invariable correlation between medical progress and human happiness, which conflates the quest for meaning and the quest for health. They do not go hand in hand.