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Life Extension

Edited by Ruchika Mishra (Program in Medicine and Human Values, California Pacific Medical Center)
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  1. Felicia Nimue Ackerman (2007). Patient and Family Decisions About Life-Extension and Death. In Rosamond Rhodes, Leslie Francis & Anita Silvers (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to Medical Ethics. Blackwell Pub..
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  2. Gustaf Arrhenius, Life Extension, Replacement, and Comparativism.
    It has been claimed that increasing the length of existing lives with positive welfare is better than creating new lives with positive welfare although the total sum of well-being is the same in both cases, or less in the outcome with extended lives. I shall discuss an interesting suggestion --- that it makes an outcome worse if people are worse off than they otherwise could have been --- that seem to support this idea. I call this view Comparativism.
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  3. Gustaf Arrhenius (2008). Life Extension Versus Replacement. Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):211-227.
    It seems to be a widespread opinion that increasing the length of existing happy lives is better than creating new happy lives although the total welfare is the same in both cases, and that it may be better even when the total welfare is lower in the outcome with extended lives. I shall discuss two interesting suggestion that seems to support this idea, or so it has been argued. Firstly, the idea there is a positive level of wellbeing above which (...)
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  4. Yohanna Barth-Rogers & Alan Jotkowitz (2009). Executive Autonomy, Multiculturalism and Traditional Medical Ethics. American Journal of Bioethics 9 (2):39 – 40.
  5. John Baum (2003). When Death Enters Life. Floris.
  6. Ernest Becker (1973). The Denial of Death. New York,Free Press.
    Drawing from religion and the human sciences, particularly psychology after Freud, the author attempts to demonstrate that the fear of death is man's central ...
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  7. R. Blackford (2009). Moral Pluralism Versus the Total View: Why Singer is Wrong About Radical Life Extension. Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (12):747-752.
    Peter Singer has argued that we should not proceed with a hypothetical life-extension drug, based on a scenario in which developing the drug would fail to achieve the greatest sum of happiness over time. However, this is the wrong test. If we ask, more simply, which policy would be more benevolent, we reach a different conclusion from Singer’s: even given his (admittedly questionable) scenario, development of the drug should go ahead. Singer’s rigorous utilitarian position pushes him in the direction of (...)
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  8. Lisa Bortolotti (2010). Agency, Life Extension, and the Meaning of Life. The Monist 93 (1):38-56.
    Contemporary philosophers and bioethicists argue that life extension is bad for the individual. According to the agency objection to life extension, being constrained as an agent adds to the meaningfulness of human life. Life extension removes constraints, and thus it deprives life of meaning. In the paper, I concede that constrained agency contributes to the meaningfulness of human life, but reject the agency objection to life extension in its current form. Even in an extended life, decision-making remains constrained, and many (...)
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  9. Lisa Bortolotti (2010). Agency, Life Extension, and the Meaning of Life. The Monist 93 (1):38-56.
    Contemporary philosophers and bioethicists argue that life extension is bad for the individual. According to the agency objection to life extension, being constrained as an agent adds to the meaningfulness of human life. Life extension removes constraints, and thus it deprives life of meaning. In the paper, I concede that constrained agency contributes to the meaningfulness of human life, but reject the agency objection to life extension in its current form. Even in an extended life, decision-making remains constrained, and many (...)
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  10. Dan W. Brock (1986). The Value of Prolonging Human Life. Philosophical Studies 50 (3):401 - 428.
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  11. Thom Brooks (2012). Preserving Capabilities. American Journal of Bioethics 12 (6):48-49.
    The American Journal of Bioethics, Volume 12, Issue 6, Page 48-49, June 2012.
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  12. Adrian Bunn (2009). Evaluating Life Extension From a Narrative Perspective. American Journal of Bioethics 9 (12):79-80.
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  13. Matthew Cotton (2009). Discourse, Upstream Public Engagement and the Governance of Human Life Extension Research. Poiesis and Praxis 7 (1-2):135-150.
    Important scientific, ethical and sociological debates are emerging over the trans-humanist goal to achieve therapeutic treatments to ‘cure’ the debilitation of age-related illness and extend the healthy life span of individuals through interventive biogerontological research . The scientific and moral discourses surrounding this contentious scientific field are mapped out, followed by a normative argument favouring ‘strong’ deliberative democratic control of human life extension research. This proposal incorporates insights from constructive and participatory technology assessment, upstream public engagement and back-casting analysis; to (...)
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  14. D. E. Cutas (2008). Life Extension, Overpopulation and the Right to Life: Against Lethal Ethics. Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (9):e7-e7.
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  15. John K. Davis (2005). Life-Extension and the Malthusian Objection. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (1):27 – 44.
    The worst possible way to resolve this issue is to leave it up to individual choice. There is no known social good coming from the conquest of death (Bailey, 1999). - Daniel Callahan Dramatically extending the human lifespan seems increasingly possible. Many bioethicists object that life-extension will have Malthusian consequences as new Methuselahs accumulate, generation by generation. I argue for a Life-Years Response to the Malthusian Objection. If even a minority of each generation chooses life-extension, denying it to them deprives (...)
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  16. John K. Davis (2004). The Prolongevists Speak Up: The Life-Extension Ethics Session at the 10th Annual Congress of the International Association of Biomedical Gerontology. American Journal of Bioethics 4 (4):W6-W8.
    Life-extension was the focus for the 10th annual Congress of the International Association of Biomedical Gerontology, held last September at Cambridge University. This scientific convention included a panel of several bioethicists, including Art Caplan, John Harris, and others. The presentations on the ethics of life-extension are reviewed here.
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  17. A. D. N. J. de Grey (2005). Life Extension, Human Rights, and the Rational Refinement of Repugnance. Journal of Medical Ethics 31 (11):659-663.
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  18. Gerald Dworkin (2007). Pt. IV. The End of Life. The Definition of Death / Stuart Youngner ; The Aging Society and the Expansion of Senility: Biotechnological and Treatment Goals / Stephen Post ; Death is a Punch in the Jaw: Life-Extension and its Discontents / Felicia Nimue Ackerman ; Precedent Autonomy, Advance Directives, and End-of-Life Care / John K. Davis ; Physician-Assisted Death: The State of the Debate. [REVIEW] In Bonnie Steinbock (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Bioethics. Oxford University Press.
  19. Robert A. Freitas (2007). Medical Nanorobotics: Breaking the Trance of Futility in Life Extension Research (A Reply to de Grey). Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology 1 (1).
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  20. Georg Fuellen, Melanie Börries, Hauke Busch, Aubrey de Grey, Udo Hahn, Thomas Hiller, Andreas Hoeflich, Ludger Jansen, Georges E. Janssens, Christoph Kaleta, Anne C. Meinema, Sascha Schäuble, Paul N. Schofield, Barry Smith & Daniel Wuttke (2013). In-Silico-Approaches and the Role of Ontologies in Aging Research. Rejuvenation Research 16 (6):540-546.
    The 2013 Rostock Symposium on Systems Biology and Bioinformatics in Aging Research was again dedicated to dissecting the aging process using in silico means. A particular focus was on ontologies, as these are a key technology to systematically integrate heterogeneous information about the aging process. Related topics were databases and data integration. Other talks tackled modeling issues and applications, the latter including talks focussed on marker development and cellular stress as well as on diseases, in particular on diseases of kidney (...)
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  21. Timothy Hall (2004). Life Extension and Creation: A Reply to Silverstein and Boonin. Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (4):485-492.
  22. Matti Häyry (1991). Measuring the Quality of Life: Why, How and What? Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 12 (2).
    In this paper three questions concerning quality of life in medicine and health care are analysed and discussed: the motives for measuring the quality of life, the methods used in assessing it, and the definition of the concept. The purposes of the study are to find an ethically acceptable motive for measuring the quality of life; to identify the methodological advantages and disadvantages of the most prevalent current methods of measurement; and to present an approach towards measuring and defining the (...)
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  23. Steven Horrobin (2006). Immortality, Human Nature, the Value of Life and the Value of Life Extension. Bioethics 20 (6):279–292.
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  24. D. Gareth Jones & Maja Whitaker (2009). Finding a Context for Discussing Human Life-Extension. American Journal of Bioethics 9 (12):77-79.
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  25. Yusuke Kaneko (2012). THE MAXIM OF SUICIDE: ONE ANGLE ON BIOMEDICAL ETHICS. ASIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES and HUMANITIES 1 (3).
    Addressing the question in the form of Kant’s maxim, this paper moves on to a more controversial topic in biomedical ethics, physician-assisted suicide. However, my conclusion is tentative, and what is worse, negative: I partially approve suicide. It does not imply a moral hazard. The situation is opposite: in the present times, terminal patients seriously wish it. I, as an author, put an emphasis on this very respect. Now suicide is, for certain circles, nothing but justice. The arguments of thinkers (...)
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  26. Kevin T. Keith (2009). Life Extension : Proponents, Opponents, and the Social Impact of the Defeat of Death. In Michael K. Bartalos (ed.), Speaking of Death: America's New Sense of Mortality. Praeger.
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  27. Azevedo Marco Antonio (2013). Human Enhancement: A New Issue in Philosophical Agenda. Princípios 20 (33):265-304.
    Since before we can remember, humanity aims to overcome its biological limitations; such a goal has certainly played a key role in the advent of technique. However, despite the benefits that technique may bring, the people who make use of it will inevitably be under risk of harm. Even though human technical wisdom consists in attaining the best result without compromising anybody’s safety, misuses are always a possibility in the horizon. Nowadays, technology can be used for more than just improving (...)
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  28. Anya Plutynski (2012). Ethical Issues in Cancer Screening and Prevention. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 37 (3):310-323.
    November 2009’s announcement of the USPSTF’s recommendations for screening for breast cancer raised a firestorm of objections. Chief among them were that the panel had insufficiently valued patients’ lives or allowed cost considerations to influence recommendations. The publicity about the recommendations, however, often either simplified the actual content of the recommendations or bypassed significant methodological issues, which a philosophical examination of both the science behind screening recommendations and their import reveals. In this article, I discuss two of the leading ethical (...)
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  29. Andrea Sauchelli (2014). Life Extension and the Burden of Mortality: Leon Kass Versus John Harris. Journal of Medical Ethics 40:336-40.
    Some bioethicists have questioned the desirability of a line of biomedical research aimed at extending the length of our lives over what some think to be its natural limit. In particular, Leon Kass has argued that living longer is not such a great advantage, and that mortality is not a burden after all. In this essay, I evaluate his arguments in favour of such a counterintuitive view by elaborating upon some critical remarks advanced by John Harris. Ultimately, I argue that (...)
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  30. John Schloendorn (2006). Making the Case for Human Life Extension: Personal Arguments. Bioethics 20 (4):191–202.
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  31. Richard Settersten, Jennifer Fishman, Marcie Lambrix, Michael Flatt & Robert Binstock (2009). The Salience of Language in Probing Public Attitudes About Life Extension. American Journal of Bioethics 9 (12):81-82.
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  32. David Shaw (2009). Cryoethics: Seeking Life After Death. Bioethics 23 (9):515-521.
    Cryonic suspension is a relatively new technology that offers those who can afford it the chance to be 'frozen' for future revival when they reach the ends of their lives. This paper will examine the ethical status of this technology and whether its use can be justified. Among the arguments against using this technology are: it is 'against nature', and would change the very concept of death; no friends or family of the 'freezee' will be left alive when he is (...)
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  33. TimothyHall (2004). Life Extension and Creation: A Reply to Silverstein and Boonin. Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (4):485–492.
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  34. Leigh Turner (2004). Life Extension Research: Health, Illness, and Death. Health Care Analysis 12 (2):117-129.
    Scientists, bioethicists, and policy makers are currently engaged in a contentious debate about the scientific prospects and morality of efforts to increase human longevity. Some demographers and geneticists suggest that there is little reason to think that it will be possible to significantly extend the human lifespan. Other biodemographers and geneticists argue that there might well be increases in both life expectancy and lifespan. Bioethicists and policy makers are currently addressing many of the ethical, social, and economic issues raised by (...)
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  35. Leigh Turner (2003). Life Extension Technologies: Economic, Psychological, and Social Considerations. HEC Forum 15 (3):258-273.
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  36. Robert M. Veatch (2004). Abandon the Dead Donor Rule or Change the Definition of Death? Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 14 (3):261-276.
    : Research by Siminoff and colleagues reveals that many lay people in Ohio classify legally living persons in irreversible coma or persistent vegetative state (PVS) as dead and that additional respondents, although classifying such patients as living, would be willing to procure organs from them. This paper analyzes possible implications of these findings for public policy. A majority would procure organs from those in irreversible coma or in PVS. Two strategies for legitimizing such procurement are suggested. One strategy would be (...)
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