2010 Programme: Battle for Medical Ethics
The success of modern scientific medicine in prolonging our lives has thrown up a number of new dilemmas. As people live longer, medicine faces new challenges from ageing-related diseases: can we afford to treat these conditions in ever more people, and who should decide? Is it up to us to guarantee our own quality of life in old age by living healthily all our lives? And if so, should patients have more say over treatments, rather than old-fashioned medical authorities? Should we be free to choose alternative therapies, or should the medical profession reassert the primacy of scientific medicine?