M.J. Shariff

Humans are on the threshold of being able to significantly increase their life expectancy yet, in the majority of jurisdictions there is little or no consensus as to how we are permitted to die. Today life extension and anti-aging research is currently being undertaken around the world. However not all longevity technologies are equal. Indeed, such technologies present varying degrees of “entanglement” with the human body as one moves for example, through simple changes in diet through to gene therapies, regenerative medicine and nanotechnology. Given the ongoing and seemingly intractable controversies and crises with respect to assisted death, arguably also a form of technology in itself, the question to be asked is, when a particular longevity intervention or panel of therapies is pursued, what might be required in order to bring about death, should death be desired. The objective here is to begin to understand emerging anti-aging technologies from the degree of entanglement that they present to the human body such that we can begin to illuminate the social pathways forward with respect to integrated, systems-level design, implementation and ideology.

Keywords (Optional): 
technological entanglement
assisted death
normative impact of technology