The search for a treatment for ageing
On 30 November 2016 the Council held a roundtable meeting to bring together experts from a range of fields to explore the ethical, social and policy issues raised by research that seeks to slow or prevent the biological processes of ageing – known as biogerontology. The discussion was chaired by Julian Hughes, Deputy Chair of Council and RICE Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at the University of Bristol.
- Key questions and issues discussed included:
- What has this field of research achieved so far and what is it likely to achieve in the near future?
- What should be the aims of research on the biological processes of ageing? For example, should the aim be quantity of quality of life, or something else?
- What are the ethical issues that arise as a consequence of any particular notion of successful ageing?
- How should we conceptualise ageing? For example, should we think of it as a disease to be treated?
- What will be the consequences of research on the biological processes of ageing, for individuals, for society and globally?
In 2015, we commissioned a background paper on longevity to find out more about the topic. Read the paper.
Author: Dr Hans-Jörg Ehni, Deputy Director, Institute for Ethics and History of Medicine, University of Tübingen, Germany