Extending the lifespan: problems and question

Allen Smith allens at yang.earlham.edu
Tue Apr 28 19:53:30 EST 1992

In article <541 at tdatirv.UUCP>, sarima at tdatirv.UUCP (Stanley Friesen) writes:
> In article <1992Apr17.115049.27094 at u.washington.edu> rbradbur at u.washington.edu
> |Current medical practices end up compressing diseases into the last few
> |years of life in a generally fruitless but expensive effort (Fries, 1988).
> What's wrong with that?  So it doesn't increase my lifespan, it *does*
> decrease the time I spend suffering through to my death.  It increases
> my *effective* lifespan.
> In my perfect world I would be healthy until the last month or so,
> and then die suddenly.
> |Thus one should argue that much of the $3+ billion spent on heart
> |disease and cancer research by NIH should instead be redirected into
> |research in retarding the rate of aging (and reducing the overall
> |disease rate), something which should result in the extension of
> |lifespan.
> Only if I can stay healthy until the last few years.  Extending my
> life, per se, is meaningless if I am stuck in bed.

        The Strudelburg problem has been pointed out. However, health
problems from aging are inevitable until the base cause for aging is
discovered. Although the period of time in which one would be disabled
(unless one took such sensible routes out as suicide or cryonics) might be
extended, so would the period of health.
> |  2) When I propose that we should be striving to live to 150, many
> |     people react quite negatively.  Is this because they don't understand
> |     that it would involve slowing the aging rate or because they fear
> |     overpopulation or is something else at work?
> I am not sure I *want* a slowed aging rate.  That seems like it would leave
> me *longer* in the debilitated, aged state.

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