If you had an incurable disorder, would you want to know?

Several years ago, I took a course in Human Molecular Genetics. I enjoyed the technical “science-speak” (replication and mutation and such) but also relished in the ethical conversations. One such discussion centered around the following question:

If through genetic testing, it was discovered that you had a disorder with no cure or no viable treatment, would you want to know?

Fellow students took turns attempting to answer an inquiry that seemed so final. Most wanted to know. There was a desire to have the information to organize lives. Things had to be put in order. Loose ends tied. I listened intently, fascinated by this peek into the brains and souls of classmates. When all eyes finally fell upon me, I hesitated for a moment and began to communicate in slow, deliberate tones:

I would not want to know. Yes, there is a need to “organize a life” and to “tie loose ends” but I should be doing this anyway. I could leave this building, cross the street, and be hit by a bus. Death is a certainty whether today, tomorrow, or 50 years from now.

We (humanity) continue to put thing off. We lead disorganized lives and attempt to function within disorganized systems. Loose ends dangle, then tangle leading to more disorganization.

Would you really want to know the general time frame of your death? Would this cause you to significantly alter the course of your life? End your procrastination?

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Posted in Death, In my brain, Life, Mind, Mind & Spirit, Mortality, Personal, Spirit. Comments Off on If you had an incurable disorder, would you want to know?
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