Considering the success of the moon race, why isn’t there a comparable race against aging and its terrible diseases? Why is there so much opposition to promising developments such as therapeutic cloning or stem cell research? Why is modern medicine, and society at large, investing so much in trying to extend the last years of life (often spent in a nursing home) instead of trying to extend the period of youthful vigor?
Mainstream medicine, called “Mortalist Medicine,” operates from the mortalist paradigm: it assumes that aging is “normal” and nothing can be done about it. Weight gain, hearing and vision loss, a rise in blood pressure, a decline in muscle mass—all these are regarded as normal manifestations of aging. Since aging is not regarded as a disease, much less the most important disease, it is acceptable to treat only the symptoms of this universal, underlying degenerative syndrome. It is OK to treat heart disease or Alzheimer’s, but not OK to try to slow the aging process itself, much less aim at physiological rejuvenation—even though this would be the most cost-effective solution to the catastrophic rise in medical costs as the population ages.
We think medicine badly needs a paradigm shift. Aging itself must be classified as a disease—“the master disease, the one disease that will sooner or later kill every one of us on this planet, unless we decrypt its legal code. This view of aging is already accepted by regenerative medicine, which tries to regenerate and rejuvenate the body. Physicians practicing regenerative medicine understand that the most cost-effective approach to combating various “diseases of aging” is to keep the patient physiologically young.
The time has come for man to get over his cosmic inferiority complex. To rise above his condition – and to use technology to extend himself beyond his biological limitations.