My friend, Herb Sohn, is a well-respected and knowledgeable surgeon. He recently told me that a blood test is in the works that could determine an individual’s exact length of life based on cellular structure. Of course this does not take unforeseen events, such as car accidents, into consideration.

If this test becomes available, would you want to know the results? Do you want to know how long you have to live?

There also are more than 200 tests available for genetic diseases. From unborn babies to adulthood, these tests can predict the likelihood of contracting a specific disease. But again, the question is, do you want to know? Do you want to know that Alzheimer’s disease or cancer is in your future?

In some circumstances, positive results may allow treatment before serious progression of the disease, or even before birth. Prevention can be anything from medication to surgery, such as a complete mastectomy if a test indicates a predisposition to breast cancer. Other results may offer little recourse other than to assess personal life decisions and family planning.

Regardless of the amount of possible intervention, a positive test result comes with serious consideration and decisions. Even if a test shows a 90% likelihood of contracting a disease, or that the unborn child has a particular condition, there remains a possibility that the test is wrong. We may proceed with a drastic measure of preventive surgery or spend the rest of our lives inaccurately believing we do or do not have a particular medical condition.

I have a number of health issues that periodically remind me to appreciate my many blessings and keep my spiritual side in check and readiness. I don’t know what I would do if offered the opportunity for such testing, but for now, I’m thankful for what I have, striving to be happy in the moment, and in constant preparation to cross over to the other side.

How about you? What do you think of all of this?

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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