Essay The Ethics of Longevity

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Within the last century, the advancements of modern science, technology and research have increased the average human life expectancy worldwide. While new research has produced drugs to help us live longer with diseases like cancer, AIDS and diabetes, it has also created designer drugs to aid and relieve the side affects of aging. With these benefits come personal rights and social responsibilities not faced by previous generations. For all of the of those that work tirelessly to bring these drugs to improve the daily life of others for little rewards, there are pharmaceutical giants whose profits climb to new heights by marketing drugs to the aging population. This paper will discuss two ethical issues surrounding longevity, the ethics …show more content…

(Phatak, 1998)
Many companies have found deceptive ways around the medical community to sell consumers a magic pill, whether it’s truly a new drug or not. A small little tablet called Protandim was released on the market claiming to ‘reverse the damages of aging’ by a company called LifeVantage. (, 2012) These patented pills are classified as ‘supplements’, not pharmaceuticals, and the company is registered as a ‘food product’ manufacturer. The general public may not know they don’t have the protection of FDA standards if they take these pills, supplements don’t need FDA approval in the U.S., as a new drug coming to market would. (FDA, 2012)
The decision to take products to maintain a healthy lifestyle, whether it is medications, supplements, vitamins, or energy drinks, is an individual’s choice. The struggle to stay young as we all inevitably age raises the question: What is life worth if you do not have quality of life? Quality as defined by the individual. What if, as many face across the globe, ‘quality’ becomes the right to choose not to live longer, but to die with dignity?
The idea of choosing to cause one’s own death is inconceivable to a healthy person. However to some facing the terminal reality of pain and suffering, crippling agony, loss of control of functions and mental faculties,

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