Aging is a fundamental aspect of Human development. According to Stedman’s medical dictionary, it is the gradual change in the structure of a mature organism that occurs normally over time and increases the probability of death (Stedman, 2008).
However, it has become a topic of global concern whether or not to introduce anti-aging technology into the society; an issue that has drawn attention to many professionals in the field.
Chris Hacker, a professor of medical humanities, argues that there are lots of disadvantages in introducing anti-aging medicine into our society. He based his assertion on the fact that extending or prolonging one’s life would have a negative effect on the society. He also argued that if anti-aging techniques were permitted, the country would become overpopulated. Even, the inconsistency in experimenting with human beings is considered a waste of time and money (Pearl, 2008).
He sited a scenario in his article, saying, “If there was a calorie restriction required to prevent aging, how well could the government monitor or enforce this rule in order to implement it?” With this issue raised, Chris Hacker maintained that it will be unwise to double the lifespan of humans. Ronald Klatz, on the other hand sees nothing but optimism in the anti-aging technology, he views this argument from a different perspective – ‘The medical perspective’. Being a medical doctor himself, he believes that anti-aging medicine will not only increase the lifespan of an individual but also improve the overall health and wellness of that individual.
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Discoveries and advances in technology has caused professionals such as medical doctors, scientists and engineers to invent and create techniques that will “make life easier”, but a question to ask is, “Is this technique optimal in all aspect, especially in aspects as crucial as aging? I would say no. Chris Hacker gave a more detailed analysis in his article, on why anti-aging medicine should be discouraged. He gave various scenarios of everyday life and stated why doubling the lifespan will have a harmful effect in the society. While both authors, Chris Hacker and Ronald Klatz support the idea of longer living, Chris Hacker maintained that bringing in anti-aging medicine would cause people to live too long, hence, creating a larger old population people, that would dominate the workforce and obstruct job opportunities for the younger adult, It would also cause the government more to provide social security to the aged. Ronald Klatz, however spent more time defining terms in his article rather than explaining the effects it would have on individuals. In so doing, he cleared the doubts people had about aging, taking time to distinguish between anti-aging medicine and other misleading terms such as longevity medicine and aging gracefully.
I think both writers made great points in their articles. But the most important thing is to view the issue from a wider perspective, which is outside the individual itself. I agree that inventing anti-aging techniques would help create better health, overall wellness and longer life to an individual, but should we trade this for the effect it will have on the economy and the population? Introducing global concerns was the greatest strength in Chris Hacker’s article. If people were to live far over one hundred years, the population would rise to a point where demand would be greater than supply, at this point, everything in the society would fail. There will be higher number in people in jails, compared to the number of jail wardens, higher patients in the hospital compared to medical personnel, greater students to teacher ratio and so on. And when this happens, there is no solution other than to eliminate the cause, which would mean killing people to reduce the population, which we consider totally wrong and unethical in our present society. Ronald Klatz’s anti-aging technique is based on medical research that had been conducted on people, but he failed to give the demographics of the people he researched upon. He probably had a sample of a particular population that does not represent everyone, in other words, the sample population may not have been well distributed across the whole country. Anti-aging medicine is global concern and not regional one, and that is why his research on anti-aging medicine could be considered somewhat biased. On the other hand, Anti-aging medicine will be beneficial mostly to the older population who would want to live longer, bond with their children and multiple generations down their lineage. They would also not feel lonely because there are many old people around, and also they will be aware of the fact that even at seventy, they will not be living the world so soon (Floyd).
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In conclusion, There are benefits in living long, but I am of the opinion that longer life should not be made to the detriment of the population at large. I think the government should find alternative ways of making old people feel healthier such as providing free fruits and vegetables to older adults, rather than wasting much money on anti-aging research.