Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Malthusian me?   posted by Razib @ 7/31/2007 12:09:00 PM

In the comments below in regards to eugenics I made an argument that rationing is going to be inevitable in national health care systems as the information we have about the propensity (or inevitability) of diseases outruns the ability to treat those diseases. In particular, I believe that it may come to the point where though one can treat something in theory with medical technology the costs may simply be prohibitive. The argument I'm making smells a lot like Malthusianism, insofar as I believe that genomic diagnostic technologies will decrease in price in a manner that scales downward to a far greater extent then the treatments for those diagnosed probabilities for the total sample space of possibilities. But of course, we know how Malthusianism worked out when it came to the argument about population & food production, so I'm not sure about this. We (humans) have a tendency not to account for future innovation. In the near-term (less than 20 years) what do those who know about the costs of medicine think?