Health Care in Space

The "Conversations" column in this week's New York Times features a discussion with NASA's chief bioethicist, Paul Root Wolpe. In discussions of how he helps the space agency navigate the ethics of human experimentation, the conversation turned to the circumstances under which astronauts refuse to be part of an experiment.

It turns out that astronauts really hate to be deprived of sleep because microgravity causes insomnia, so they most often refuse experiments which would impact their sleep schedule. That was surprising enough. All the SF books I read growing would talk about how great it would be to sleep in zero-g. Yet another thing they got wrong.

But the best part was when I read this little nugget:

Others opted out because they were concerned that medical information collected on them couldn’t really be private and might interfere with their getting health insurance after retirement.
Yet another argument for health insurance reform: it will help in the conquest of space.

Who knew?

1 comment:

A.B. said...

One small step for man, one giant leap for Blue Cross Blue Shield.