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Attitudes to life extension via genetic engineering

Rick Abrams ricka at praline.no.NeoSoft.com
Tue Feb 28 16:05:18 EST 1995

In article <Pine.SOL.3.91.950227162953.25438B-100000 at corona>,
Patrick O'Neil  <patrick at corona> wrote:
>On 27 Feb 1995, Rick Abrams wrote:
>> >
>> >There is no set, hard span but I have read estimates that put maximum 
>> >human lifespan at around 120 years, which doesn't bode all too well for 
>> >the Frenchwoman, depending on how one views things.  If I were a betting 
>> >man, I would bet against the woman getting to 125. 
>> >  The max possible is barring other factors such as cancer, heart 
>> >disease, alzheimer's, congenital defects, etc.    
>> >Unfortunately for your father, disease got him rather than age-related 
>> >degeneration.
>> Think it through, why is 125 a 'natural death' but 46 not? All I see
>> is you saying is 'words mean what ever I want them to mean.'
>Actually, I agree that a death is a death is a death and is natural...to 
>a point.  There has to be some semantic delineations or you could also 
>count murder victims as having experienced a natural death.  My statement 
>concerning what I have read, the 120 year estimate, was simply meant to 
>state that if someone ruled out other causes such as cancer, accident, 
>illness, etc, and were set up to live for as long as they were 
>biologically capable (on average), you might see around 120 years.  You 
>could then call about 120 years the max of the NATURAL RANGE.  Hell, 
>spontaneous abortion is as natural as breathing and it leaves a lifespan 
>an indeterminant minimum, depending on what you call "life" or 
>"human life."  Semantics and flexible.
>  A genetic predispostion to die at a younger than average age IS natural
>by definition.  Cancer death resulting from cigs or natural environmental 
>toxins, etc, are natural deaths, though preventable.  
>  As to words, they DO mean only what people want them to mean.  In a 
>semantics fight, you could define almost any term to mean almost anything 
>you want. 
The problem is what you want 'biologically capable' to
mean. Compare cystis fibrosis to old age, both are congenital
conditions, ie DNA encoded. I feel old age is/will be
a treatable condition just as cystic fibrosis.

Should a 120 year old person be treated for heart failure?
And if ten years later their liver begins to fail should
that condition be treated?

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