Extending human lifespan and the precautionary paradox

J Med Philos. 2002 Jun;27(3):355-68. doi: 10.1076/jmep.27.3.355.2983.


This paper argues that a precautionary approach to scientific progress of the sort advocated by Walter Glannon with respect to life-extending therapies involves both incoherence and irresolvable paradox. This paper demonstrates the incoherence of the precautionary approach in many circumstances and argues that with respect to life-extending therapies we have at present no persuasive reasons for a moratorium on such research.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics*
  • Bioethics*
  • Genetic Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy*
  • Philosophy, Medical
  • Research / standards
  • Selection, Genetic*
  • United Kingdom