From the days of the Louis Pasteur era until now, scientists have made numerous successful attempts in their exploratory approach to save humanity. Science, along with technology, has become so advanced over the years that what was once thought of by scientists as an uncertainty is now a breakthrough in innovative discoveries, for scientists now have the resourceful devices necessary to further their exploration of the human body with precise detail and remarkable accuracy. With the birth of such remarkable artificial life-saving devices as the pacemaker and the dialysis machine, the possibilities for discovering complete cures to life-threatening illnesses seems more and more possible in the future as science advances in the areas of biomedical engineering, thanks to all of the financial support provided by the U.S. Government to scientific research agencies over the past few decades.
Unfortunately during this decade, one of those resources has been drastically cut this year by 10% at the very least — a percentage that cannot be ignored, especially when it pertains to biomedical research. Since humanity has been anticipating for years to hear of a much awaited breakthrough in the discovery for cures to some of the most deadliest of diseases such as cancer and HIV, it seems all hope will have to be put on hold for what seems to be a much bigger problem that appears to be taking precedence lately over healing the sick: war-related funding.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), one of the most pertinent sources of funding for biomedical research agencies and institutions, has been commended for increasing the life expectancy of humanity since the early 1800’s. Not only does the NIH conduct their own research at their own facilities, the agency relies on its funding to be allocated within the congressional budget. The United States has already spent approximately $1.7 trillion on war-related expenses from 2001-2011, and is expected to see these expenditures rise above the $6 trillion mark by the end of the 2013 fiscal year. To avoid a government shutdown this year, Congress had to cut all expenditures until March of 2014 by at least 10%, and this includes the financial support the NIH heavily relies upon to continue its research efforts. The NIH has reported their biomedical research expenses to be at $29.5 billion for the 2013 fiscal year alone. With Congress being unable to properly negotiate a suitable national budget plan while continuously financially supporting war-related expenses to the fullest, the NIH has been forced to put a majority of their critical clinical trials on hold with no certainty of when they will resume again.
Eventually along the line, we all reap the benefits of medical research, even those who are currently considered to be in perfect health. At the rate in which science has advanced, humanity’s chances for a greater life expectancy could have been dramatically increased many years ago if it had not been for the extra expenditure of wars… or could it?
©2013 Learus Ohnine