Equality and the Duty to Retard Human Ageing
Bioethics 2010 Oct; 24(8): 384-94
Where does the aspiration to retard human ageing fit in the 'big picture' of medical necessities and the requirements of just healthcare? Is there a duty to retard human ageing? And if so, how much should we invest in the basic science that studies the biology of ageing and could lead to interventions that modify the biological processes of human ageing? I consider two prominent accounts of equality and just healthcare - Norman Daniels's application of the principle of fair equality of opportunity and Ronald Dworkin's account of equality of resources - and conclude that, once suitably amended and revised, both actually support the conclusion that anti-ageing research is important and could lead to interventions that ought to be considered 'medical necessities'.
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