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The Fountain of Youth : Cultural, Scientific and Ethical Presepctives on a Biomedical Goal - Stephen G. Post

The Fountain of Youth

Cultural, Scientific and Ethical Presepctives on a Biomedical Goal

By: Stephen G. Post (Editor), Robert H. Binstock (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 1st July 2004
ISBN: 9780195170085
Number Of Pages: 496

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A wide variety of ambitions and measures to slow, stop, and reverse phenomena associated with aging have been part of human culture since early civilization. From alchemy to cell injections to dietary supplements, the list of techniques aimed at altering the processes of aging continues to expand. Charlatans, quacks, and entrpreneurs proffering anti-aging products and practices have always exploited uniformed customers and instilled doubt and apprehension toward practices intended to extend life. Recently, however, the pursuit of longevity has developed into a respectable scientific activity. Many biologists are substantially funded by the government and the private sector to conduct research that they believe will lead to effective anti-aging interventions.
While many embrace this quest for "prolongevity"--extended youth and long life--others fear its consequences. If effective anti-aging interventions were achieved, they would likely bring about profound alterations in the experiences of individual and collective life. What if aging could be decelerated to the extent that both average life expectancy and maximum life span would increase by forty percent? What if all humans could live to be centenarians, free of the chronic diseases and disabilities now commonly associated with old age? What if modern scientists could find the modern equivalent to the Fountain of Youth that Ponce de Leon sought?
This book addresses these questions by exploring the ramifications of possible anti-aging interventions on both individual and collective life. Through a series of essays, it examines the biomedical goal of prolongevity from cultural, scientific, religious, and ethical perspectives, offering a sweeping view into the future of aging.

Industry Reviews

"This timely book, consisting of 17 chapters, a highly commendable annotated bibliography, and a review of selected primary articles, was assembled to review the history of the quest for extended and eternal life, the contemporary science of prolongevity, ethical and social perspectives on radical life extension, and the legitimacy of the antiaging movement . . . I would highly recommend this book as a most readable, provocative, and informative primer for all serious observers of biogerontology (including geriatricians) as they examine the progressive aging of the world's population - a trend that is certain to pose a central challenge to 21st-century civilization." --William R. Hazzard, M.D., in The New England Journal of Medicine "The editors tactfully and unobtrusively present scholarly apparatus and the language is sophisticated but clear, opening the views of scientists, religious thinkers, bioethicists, historians and social scientists to a broad range of readers." --Science & Theology News "This timely book, consisting of 17 chapters, a highly commendable annotated bibliography, and a review of selected primary articles, was assembled to review the history of the quest for extended and eternal life, the contemporary science of prolongevity, ethical and social perspectives on radical life extension, and the legitimacy of the antiaging movement . . . I would highly recommend this book as a most readable, provocative, and informative primer for all serious observers of biogerontology (including geriatricians) as they examine the progressive aging of the world's population - a trend that is certain to pose a central challenge to 21st-century civilization." --William R. Hazzard, M.D., in The New England Journal of Medicine "The editors tactfully and unobtrusively present scholarly apparatus and the language is sophisticated but clear, opening the views of scientists, religious thinkers, bioethicists, historians and social scientists to a broad range of readers." --Science & Theology News

Preface Introduction I. THE PERENNIAL QUESTS FOR EXTENDED AND ETERNAL LIFE Robert H. Binstock: One: The Search for Prolongevity: A Contentious Pursuit Mark B. Adams: Two: The Quest for Immortality: Visions and Presentiments in Science and Literature Stephen G. Post: Three: Decelerated Aging: Should I Drink From a Fountain of Youth? Neil Gillman: Four: A Jewish Theology of Death and the Afterlife Carol G. Zaleski: Five: In Defense of Immortality II. THE SCIENCE OF PROLONGEVITY S. Jay Olshansky and Bruce A. Carnes: Six: In Search of the Holy Grail of Senescence Michael Rose: Seven: The Metabiology of Life Extension Robert Arking: Eight: Extending Human Longevity: A Biological Probability Gemma Casadesus, George Perry, James A. Joseph, and Mark A. Smith: Nine: Eat Less, Eat Better, and Live Longer: Does it Work and Is It Worth It? The Role of Diet in Aging Richard A. Miller: Ten: Extending Life: Scientific Prospects and Political Obstacles Aubrey D.N.J. de Grey: Eleven: An Engineer's Approach To Developing Real Anti-Aging Medicine III. ETHICAL AND SOCIAL PERSPECTIVES ON RADICAL LIFE EXTENSION Arthur L. Caplan: Twelve: An Unnatural Process: Why It Is Not Inherently Wrong to Seek a Cure For Aging Christne Overall: Thirteen: Longevity, Identity, and Moral Character: A Feminist Approach Leon R. Kass: Fourteen: L'Chaim and Its Limits: Why Not Immortality? Eric T. Juengst: Fifteen: Anti-Aging Research and the Limits of Medicine Audrey R. Chapman: Sixteen: The Social and Justice Implications of Extending the Human Life Span Robert H. Binstock: Seventeen: The "Prolonged Old," the "Long-Lived Society," and the Politics of Age Diogenes Allen: Epilogue: Extended Life, Eternal Life: A Christian Perspective Roselle S. Ponsaran: Annotated Bibliography Carol A. Donley: Primary Literary Sources on Prolongevity Index

ISBN: 9780195170085
ISBN-10: 0195170083
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 496
Published: 1st July 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.98 x 16.26  x 3.63
Weight (kg): 0.84
Edition Type: Annotated

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