Societal Concerns of Life Extension
You would think that the majority of people would support the development of life extension technologies that might help people to live healthier and longer lives; however, quite understandably, the idea of human life extension raises some concerns for certain people.
We talk to many people about aging research, and we encounter a wide range of views and concerns about using science to achieve longer, healthier lifespans, so we have compiled a series of articles that take a look at some of the more common issues and concerns surrounding increased human lifespans.
There are potentially massive changes coming to medicine and how we regard aging and treat age-related diseases in the next few decades. With these changes comes the potential for people to live longer and healthier lives thanks to the life extension therapies that directly target the various aging processes in order to delay, prevent, or even reverse age-related diseases.
It is no longer a question of if human aging can be reversed, but when
However, the realization that human life extension is coming, perhaps even in our lifetime, raises a number of concerns and objections to the suggestion of increasing healthy human longevity. Some of these concerns are perfectly understandable but are often based on logical fallacies -that is, the argument contains logically invalid reasoning.
Human life extension will almost certainly bring challenges with it; however, overcoming challenges and adapting is something that we, as a species, are very good at. History has many examples of how medicine has contributed to increased longevity such as the invention of vaccines which stopped people dropping dead in their 30’s from infectious diseases during the Victorian era. Just as the Victorians quickly got used to the idea that they would probably live longer than their 30’s thanks to medical advances, modern society will without a doubt adapt to longevity and increases in lifespan just as fast.
Whenever the topic of healthy life extension is raised in public, there are inevitably some concerns about how increasing human longevity through medical science could impact society. It is only right that we should endeavour to be responsible when developing potentially world-changing technologies and as part of our ethical duty, we have addressed some of the more common concerns below.