Ethical perspectives on advances in biogerontology

Aging Medicine 2 (2):99-103 (2019)
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Worldwide populations are aging with economic development as a result of public health initiatives and advances in therapeutic discoveries. Since 1850, life expectancy has advanced by 1 year for every four. Accompanying this change is the rapid development of anti‐aging science. There are three schools of thought in the field of aging science. One perspective is the life course approach, which considers that aging is a good and natural process to be embraced as a necessary and positive aspect of life, where the aim is to improve the quality of existing lifespan and “compress” morbidity. Another view is that aging is undesirable, and that rejuvenation and indeed immortality are possible since the biological basis of aging is understood, and therefore, strategies are possible for engineering negligible senescence. Finally, a hybrid approach is that life span can be extended by anti‐aging medicines but with uncertain effects on health. While these advances offer much promise, the ethical perspectives are seldom discussed in cross‐disciplinary settings. This article discusses some of the key ethical issues arising from recent advances in biogerontology.

Author Profiles

David Archard
Lancaster University
Alexandre Erler
National Yang Ming University
Tom Walker
Queen's University, Belfast


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