If you could find out now which diseases you would contract later in life would you want to know the information?If you could find out now which diseases you would contract later in life would you...

If you could find out now which diseases you would contract later in life would you want to know the information?

If you could find out now which diseases you would contract later in life would you want to know the information?

Expert Answers
mimerajver eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I already am in the "late in life" stage. A long time ago I was warned of what I should beware of, just to be on the safe side and without any guarantees on the part of science. Because of genetic reasons, I had a predisposition to contract cancer, arthritis, arthrosis, Alzheimer's, have a serious heart condition, suffer from mild to severe CVAs, and from retinal artery occlusion. Extremely encouraging, wouldn't you say? 

If I had guided my life by these warnings, I would probably have become a recluse and taken to a wheelchair in my early youth. Instead, I stuck to my belief that what will be will be, and led an adventurous, fulfilling life. This doesn't mean that I crossed the road against the traffic lights. I just took simple precautions that didn't interfere with the things I loved doing. 

So far, the prognosis has failed altogether. This does not mean that I cannot die of a heart attack as I'm writing this. But if I do, I will have enjoyed my life without self-imposed restrictions dictated by fear. Would I like to know now, in the eve of my life, which of the old predictions or new ailments can hit me? No. I'll fight them if there's hope to defeat them, or I'll make the most of my time as the end comes. 

I wouldn't like to plan the end. Life has been an inexhaustible source of surprises to me, not always good, I must admit, but always educational. In my philosophy, decay and death are only a natural part of life. I'd love to skip the decay step, but the choice is not up to me. 


tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

No, because that would take the fun out of living! :) But we also know certain behaviors lead to certain diseases, so shouldn't that be enough? We know that we should eat healthy and exercise, but people who choose not to do that are inadvertantly choosing their diseases anyway.  We all know better than to smoke, or drink too much, or eat too much, but there are times when we do because it's fun! I think that if people knew they would get lung cancer on a certain date and die because of it, maybe it would influence some to change, but others would keep doing it anyway. That is part of the human condition that is more valuable than anything--free will.

stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It's a really hard question! While it would be very difficult to learn that you were going to have some awful health condition at some future point in your life, I think I would probably still choose to have that awareness. That would enable me to take any steps prior to developing symptoms that might avoid or reduce the impact of the condition; that might allow me to be included in research efforts to prevent the development of the condition; that would give me time to make preparations that might make it easier for me and my family to cope with the situation if/when the condition did develop.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Tough question, but I think that I would choose to find out.  The major reason for this would be so I could plan ahead.  For example, if I knew that I had a genetic predisposition to heart disease I would want to do as much as possible to control risk factors that I could control.  I think I'd even want to know if I was likely to get Alzheimers because at least then I could (while still healthy) make preparations for what would happen after I started to suffer from the disease.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think I would want to know. If I were to know that in the future I would be limited in certain ways, I would like to be able to enjoy and explore those faculties available to me now that I would later lose. 

I'd also follow some of the advice/ideas posted above and do what I could to curb certain predispositions and lower my chances of developing a particular disorder or disease.


Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I completely agree with your answer #7.  Having children changes the equation because you aren't just looking out for yourself.  While knowing that something bad was going to happen would be terrible, being able to plan for it and prepare your children would make it easier.

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I can only repeat that this is a very tough question. I honestly don't know. Before I had children, I don't think I would have wanted to find out. Now that I have responsibilities to them, I think I would want to know, just so I could better plan to provide for them.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I do not think I would ant to know. If the knowledge would not help me keep from contracting the disease, then the knowledge would not benefit me. Instead, I would simply live each day as my last, never knowing what was to come.

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would absolutely want to know, if for no other reason than to start enjoying the money I am putting away for retirement!  It may be a little morbid, but planning for the future would be a lot less stressful.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a great question, but it's one I'd prefer to remain unanswered. Mystery is a great part of life, and I'd rather not know too many of the things that are/were to happen in my future.

angel-girl | Student

It depends. The earlier I find out, the more time there is to find some sort of cure!

jojoastin55 | Student

I know most people would say know because of destiny and fate, blah, blah, blah. I would say no to knowing what diseases I would have in the future because I do not want the knowladge to be hanging over my head. Once something is in my head it will always be there, and I would rather not have one more negative thought placed there. I want to live my life carefree, and without worries, knowing what illnesses I will receive would put a damper on that. I want to live my lifelike every day could be my last because I want to enjoy my life not because it could soon be over. So no, I would not want to have that knowledge

mmcentire | Student
If you could find out now which diseases you would contract later in life would you want to know the information?

If you could find out now which diseases you would contract later in life would you want to know the information?

Yes. Preventative measures would apply here. If the question were: how or when will I die the answer would be different as it wouldn't leave you open to pro activity!

susdas | Student

Know the future is the most interesting thing which becomes more interesting when its about our health but the fact of leading an independent life is much more better. Cause diseases will surely attack our health as time passes.


mark396 | Student

I think it would really depend on what kind of disease I am going to get.  For example, if the disease was one that I could work through and take precautions to make it so I could live with the disease then I'd want to know.  But if it was a disease that would definitely kill me, I'd probably prefer not to know when I was going to die because that wouldn't be a great way to live.