What if we didn’t have to grow old and die? The average American can expect to live for 78.8 years, an improvement over the days before clean water and vaccines, when life expectancy was closer to 50, but still not long enough for most of us. So, researchers around the world have been working on arresting the process of aging through biotechnology and finding cures to diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer. What are the ethical and social consequences of radically increasing lifespans? Should we accept a “natural” end, or should we find a cure to aging? Arguing for the motion is Ian Ground, philosopher and lecturer at the University of Newcastle with Paul Root Wolpe, director at Emory Center for Ethics. Arguing against the motion is Aubrey de Grey, chief science officer and co-founder of SENS Research Foundation with Brian Kennedy, CEO and president of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. John Donvan moderates. This conversation was taped on February 3, 2016.
· Radical life extension would lead to overpopulation and depletion of resources.
· Scientific resources are better spent curing known diseases and improving existing quality of life.
· Radical life extension is at odds with the natural and cultural process of life and death.
· Radical life extension is simply the next step in scientific and medical progress.
· Anti-aging technology prevents the suffering of old age and age-related disease.
· Longer lifespans increase an individual's ability to contribute wealth to society.