Consider this scenario: A man gets a stomachache after each meal. To “treat” this problem, he takes (either by prescription or by self-medication) some antacid or other nostrum. Then he gets a headache (which may or may not be a side effect of the stomach medication); to “treat” the headache he takes aspirin, which further irritates his stomach. Three years later he develops an ulcer, for which he takes another medication, plus large amounts of milk and cream (although an outmoded treatment, it is still being used today). Meanwhile, he is still taking antacids for his indigestion and eating the same way he always had. Eventually, he has an operation to remove his ulcer. He continues with his high-dairy diet. Soon thereafter he develops arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure and begins to take antihypertensive medication. The side effects of the latter include headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, diarrhea, slow heart rate, mental confusion, hallucinations, weight gain, and impotence. When his wife leaves him for a younger man, he takes antidepressants and sleeping pills. He has a heart attack and undergoes an operation to repair a heart valve. Painkillers keep him going as he slowly recuperates. A year or two later, he finds himself with an irreversible neurological disease such as ALS or Alzheimer’s, and he wonders what could have gone wrong. All that’s left for him to do is wait to die, which he can do in a nursing home, drugged into complaisance and painlessness.