This is a really strange gnat for a gerontologist to strain at. There are a million things that we choose individually that are bad for us collectively, and the only criterion the government seems to apply is whether a company can make a profit selling them: for example, burning coal, driving cars, fishing the sea to a near-barren state... Almost everyone wants to stay healthy and active and alert as long as possible. Is Dr Gems looking for a moral objection to this? Or to researchers and corporations that help them to do it?
What’s more, medical technologies and life style changes have been steadily increasing the life expectancy of a 50-year-old in the developed world from 25 years (1970) to 32 years (today). Is there anyone complaining that this has been a mistake?
Certainly human population must be limited, the world over for our own sake and for the sake of other species and our progeny. But let’s start that process with policies and education around birth control, rather than asking people to die on schedule.
posted by Josh Mitteldorf
July 8, 2011
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