Why we need a war on ageing

12 February 2009

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There is no such thing as a normal human lifespan and no reason we should not endeavour to create longer and better lives for ourselves. That is the conclusion reached by Julian Savulescu in an article based on his presentation to the 2009 World Economic Forum.

As the average expected lifespan continues to rise around the world, anxiety about the social, ethical and economic costs of an ageing population is increasing. Dr Paul Fairchild and Professor Julian Savulescu participated in a World Economic Forum session entitled "Live Long and Prosper", in which participants discussed how long humans could, or should live.

"Why we need a war against ageing" calls for greater investment in anti-ageing funding in order to save the 100,000 people who die every day from age-related causes. While extending the average healthy life span would create certain problems, Professor Savulescu argues that we need to ask ourselves if theses problems are severe enough that it is worth sacrificing up to 100,000 lives a day to avoid having to solve them.

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