Michael Rae pointed me to a great post from earlier this year. A few highlights:
If he has the operation (with other things in remission and his age) he has a four in five chance of coming out OK. But there's always that ONE in five chance... And if he doesn't have the operation, he'll die. Give his toughness and will to live, I think he'd survive if he has the operation. Everyday he takes a ton of pills. He sees the doctor all the time. And, from what I've heard, he is now leaning towards having the operation - a not surprising decision from a couragous veteran who was on a boat bombed during WWII.
Why? People want to LIVE
And the people who insist that at age 80 or 90 "it's time to make room for others" forget that aging folks can mentor younger people, offer bits of life-changing wisdom, keep a family together, work longer years before retiring (age 65 retirement these days is an absolute JOKE), and as we have seen help fill some gaps in the labor pool.
Why do people want to prolong their lives? They want to live for the joy of being part of it -- partaking in family activities as simple as going out to eat pizza.
Soaring health costs make extended lifespans more stressful;, throwing a monkey-wrench into the conventional wisdom regarding the money needed for retirement, but they don't change human beings' desire.
Quite right. Go and read the whole thing.