Life extension, human rights, and the rational refinement of repugnance

Journal of Medical Ethics 31 (11):659-663 (2005)
Abstract
On the ethics of extending human life: healthy people have a right to carry on livingHumanity has long demonstrated a paradoxical ambivalence concerning the extension of a healthy human lifespan. Modest health extension has been universally sought, whereas extreme health extension has been regarded as a snare and delusion—a dream beyond all others at first blush, but actually something we are better off without. The prevailing pace of biotechnological progress is bringing ever closer the day when humanity will be able to act on the latter view by rejecting a clear and present opportunity for much longer healthy lives. Indeed, some biogerontologists contend that that day has already arrived, to the extent that our hesitation in embarking on a vigorous “war on ageing” is already delaying the point at which a cure for ageing will be developed. Here I consider whether our present caution concerning the wisdom of truly curing ageing is likely to survive the increased scrutiny that it will receive in coming years as a result of these technical advances. I conclude that it will not, because of its irreconcilability with values that are more deeply held by the large majority of humanity than any values that argue against the quest for a cure. I further conclude that all the major current reasons given for not curing ageing are mere crutches to help us cope with the immutability of ageing that we have been brought up to accept. Our failure to set aside such irrationality is already shortening potential longevity—quite probably of those already alive today—to a staggering degree. Once we realise this, our determination to consign human ageing to history will be second …
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1136/jme.2005.011957
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,743
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Disgust in Bioethics.Arleen Salles & Inmaculada de Melo-Martin - 2012 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 21 (02):267-280.
Aging Research: Priorities and Aggregation.Colin Farrelly - 2008 - Public Health Ethics 1 (3):258-267.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Conferred Rights and the Fetus.Ronald M. Green - 1974 - Journal of Religious Ethics 2 (1):55 - 75.
Human Rights.Clark Butler - 2002 - Philo 5 (1):5-22.
Life-Extension and the Malthusian Objection.John K. Davis - 2005 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (1):27 – 44.
A Critique of Contemporary Egalitarianism.Louis Pojman - 1991 - Faith and Philosophy 8 (4):481-504.
Common Humanity and Human Rights.Jeremy Bendik-Keymer - 2005 - Social Philosophy Today 21:51-62.
Human Nature and Human Rights.Donald V. Poochigain - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 3:131-135.
Human Rights and Human Well-Being.W. J. Talbott - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
The Right to Be Happy.Dora Winifred Black Russell Russell - 1927 - London: G. Routledge & Sons.
Human Rights and Concept of Person.Barbara de Mori - 2001 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):159-169.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-08-24

Total downloads

38 ( #137,220 of 2,178,111 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #317,727 of 2,178,111 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums