By Harry Brill
Friday January 25, 2013 - 08:37:00 AM

Last night a friend of mine passed away a month before he reached his 74th year birthday. Thanks to good hospice care, he was taken good care of in his final days.. But I am feeling now the pain of depression, and not only because of the death of this friend. Over the years I have buried lots of friends, relatives, and acquaintances younger than I am. In most of these instances, cancer was the culprit. Why? Because we live in a diseased environment that is killing people. The private sector is not only mainly to blame. Government agencies, whose purpose is to protect the public more often than not look the other way. To add insult to injury, it is our tax money that funds these agencies that in practice serve the major corporations. This is morally unjust and insane. 

Perhaps you have seen last week the article in the Wall Street Journal on how badly we compare on the longevity issue with other developed countries. Men in the United States live the shortest. In Switzerland,where longevity is highest, its citizens live on the average four more years than in the U.S. Longevity is higher in our northern neighbor --Canada. 

Obviously, we need to carefully think this issue through, including how we can address it. Too many people's lives are being cut short. That shouldn't be.