Longevity, Technology and Humanistic Values



Advances in biotechnologies and developments in the knowledge of the biology of ageing mean it may soon be possible to increase human life spans. It is already the case that in the West, average life expectancy increases by approximately five hours a day (Kirkwood, 2008, p. 644). What the potential of biomedicine promises, however, is the possibility of increasing longevity beyond the apparent biological limit to how long we can live. The use of technology to enhance people in this way raises a number of ethical concerns. The purpose of this first chapter is twofold. The first is to outline three broad areas for assessing what these concerns are, which will structure the argument of the book. The second, and in relation to the first area of assessment, is to consider the relationship between technology and our values.


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© Anthony Farrant 2010

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