Modern science and medicine have brought many benefits to mankind. An ordinary man and woman can expect to live longer than it was ever possible. In our country itself, life expectancy is well over sixty years, which is much higher than people in less developed areas. Smallpox is non-existent according to the World Health Organization. This contrasts sharply with the situation just about forty years ago when smallpox was a deadly killer of hundreds and thousands of people every year. Other diseases like tuberculosis, polio, leprosy, and other once dreaded diseases are largely curable now. Medical care has improved by leaps and bounds. Many potent new drugs have been developed to combat the many diseases that men suffer from. Even some cancers are curable now.
There are some diseases that are still very hard to treat, but at least there are more options available to the sufferers. Heart and other organ transplants are commonplace nowadays. So the chances of surviving a disease have increased. Except for AIDS, cancer, and plain old age, men and women are much better off than their ancestors in terms of medical treatment.
However, that is only one side of the story. In prolonging the lives of men and women, many unexpected problems surface.
In the near future, it is expected that old people will outnumber the young. So society will be burdened by plenty of old folks who cannot contribute anything productive. No one can blame these old folks for living so long. The medical science profession has allowed them to. So arises the problems of looking after them.
With the reduction of the overall death rate, the population of the world will rise quickly. This will create problems in providing adequate housing and food for the rapidly aging population. The demands on Earth will increase many folds. Our resources will be diminished and the future generation will be hard-pressed to cope with the galloping world population. People will live longer. They require more of everything. Can society cope? I am not saying we should simply let the aged and sick die so that we will have enough resources for the healthy. There are a lot of moral and ethical considerations in this sort of thing. Even now anyone who even condones euthanasia or mercy-killing will probably find a horde of moralists breathing down his neck.
So it comes down to this. Modern science and medicine have enabled more men and women to live longer. This has the effect of increasing the world population and especially the number of nonproductive older members of the human race. The apparent benefits that we have also bring along their unwanted problems. Modern science and medicine have brought enormous good for mankind. It has brought or is bringing a lot of harm too. Which is better or harm? There is really no clear-cut answer now. Perhaps the future will reveal it.