Download Aging, Death, and Human Longevity: A Philosophical Inquiry by Christine Overall PDF

By Christine Overall

With assistance from drugs and know-how we live longer than ever earlier than. As human lifestyles spans have elevated, the ethical and political matters surrounding sturdiness became extra advanced. should still we wish to dwell so long as attainable? What are the social ramifications of longer lives? How does an extended existence span switch the way in which we expect in regards to the worth of our lives and approximately dying and loss of life? Christine total deals a transparent and clever dialogue of the philosophical and cultural concerns surrounding this tough and sometimes emotionally charged factor. Her publication is exclusive in its finished presentation and assessment of the arguments--both historic and contemporary--for and opposed to prolonging existence. It additionally proposes a innovative social coverage for responding to dramatic raises in existence expectancy. Writing from a feminist viewpoint, total highlights the ways in which our biases approximately race, classification, and gender have affected our perspectives of aged humans and sturdiness, and her coverage thoughts symbolize an attempt to beat those biases. She additionally covers the arguments surrounding the query of the "duty to die" and contains a provocative dialogue of immortality. After judiciously weighing the advantages and the hazards of prolonging human existence, total persuasively concludes that the size of lifestyles does topic and that its length could make a distinction to the standard and cost of our lives. Her ebook can be a vital advisor as we give some thought to our social tasks, the that means of human existence, and the customers of dwelling longer.

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Extra info for Aging, Death, and Human Longevity: A Philosophical Inquiry

Example text

Moreover, it is unlikely that that someone could be someone whom I could rationally aspire to become, to make myself into through my own choices and actions. I would have to desire to be diªerent, but in ways that would have no particular continuity with my desires and personality as they are now because they would be in no causal relationship with my existing personhood. My death, however, cuts short the survival and life experience of a me that already exists and whose termination will only be a matter of contingent fact.

Apologists and prolongevists are, I believe, in agreement about the importance for end-of-life issues of quality of life. Proponents of both sides support the maintenance of as high a quality of life as possible for aging persons. Prolongevists insist that when they argue for the prolongation of human life, it is a life as healthy and as highly functioning as possible. Apologists, however, are worried about the possibly lower quality of life that very elderly people may experience. One crucial point where the two sides depart is with respect to the possibility and attainability of highquality living near the end of life.

1. Disability in elderly persons is declining too. S. 9 “bed disability” days (defined as staying in bed because of illness or injury for at least half the day), down from 7 in 1980. More important, it is false, as antiableism activists and writers insist, to suppose that a life lived with disabilities is a life not worth living or that 44 / “Remember You Must Die” it is less worth living than the lives of nondisabled persons (Wendell 1996). Peter Singer argues that extending human life significantly—for example, by seventy or eighty years—will inevitably lead to a lower average quality of life because “individuals will enjoy the freshness of youth for a comparatively small portion” of their total life span and because their average level of health will be not quite as good as the average level of health of those leading shorter lives.

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