Never Too Late to Live a Little Longer? The Quest for Extended Life and Immortality – Some Ethical Considerations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


This book chapter discusses and evaluates four different efforts to extend human life: Normalize ageing, Optimize ageing, Retard ageing and postpone death, and Eliminate or overcome ageing and death.

I suggest that improved treatment of disease and handicap at all ages should be welcomed. As a secondary effect, this may in many cases result in an extension of individual lives. However, the direct aim at life extension through modification of certain basic human properties, such as genetic enhancement, should be looked at with suspicion. It may involve exaggerated risks, but the main argument is that it may diminish the existential character of what it is to be human, involving relation to others as a central aspect. To intentionally produce humans so that they become immortal is a violation against these individuals, because they lack an important existential dimension of human life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFuture Perfect? God, Medicine and Human Identity, edited by Celia Deane-Drummond and Peter Manley Scott
PublisherT&T Clark
ISBN (Print)0-567-03079-2
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (015017000)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Ethics


  • genetic enhancement
  • life extension
  • overcome death
  • eliminate death
  • overcome ageing
  • and eliminate ageing
  • postpone death
  • retard ageing
  • normalize ageing
  • optimize ageing


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