Want to live longer? Consider the ethics

"Life extension – using science to slow or halt human aging so that people live far longer than they do naturally – may one day be possible.

"Big business is taking this possibility seriously. In 2013 Google founded a company called Calico to develop life extension methods, and Silicon Valley billionaires Jeff Bezos and Peter Thiel have invested in Unity Biotechnology, which has a market cap of US$700 million. Unity Biotechnology focuses mainly on preventing age-related diseases, but its research could lead to methods for slowing or preventing aging itself.

"From my perspective as a philosopher, this poses two ethical questions. First, is extended life good? Second, could extending life harm others?"

Written by John K. Davis, Professor of Philosophy, California State University, Fullerton.

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