When Is Medicine No Longer Medicine?

ChelseaAging, Science, Transhumanism0 Comments

elderly-patient.jpgRecently, Google launched a company that will be focused on finding the root cause of various diseases and conditions. But Calico has even greater ambitions than just treating human illnesses. The project also wants to address genetic causes of aging, and perhaps even “solve death.” CNN reports:

Calico — or the California Life Company — has been set up to research subjects related to aging and its associated diseases. Announcing Calico at a media briefing, Google said that the new and independent company will largely focus on age-attendant conditions such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease.

Larry Page, Google’s ever youthful CEO said: “Illness and aging affect all our families. With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives.”

Exactly what approach the company is going to take to try to do these things remains to be seen.

My friend and BioTalk partner in crime, Rebecca Taylor, makes a good point and asks a few poignant questions:

The more medicine progresses and cures disease, the longer the human life span will be. That is a natural by-product, but the main focus is curing disease, not living forever.

When the focus is living forever does that change things? If the end game is not curing cancer or Alzheimer’s, but achieving eternal life on earth, is that endeavor no longer in the realm of medicine? Is that instead transhumanism, a philosophy whose very nature rejects what it means to be human?

What do you think?

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