The desire for the extension of life is not one out of many desire in life, but a form of the fundamental desire for life itself. This so called 'categorical desire' is a necessary condition for the many desires in life. The question why we desire for life (and for its extension), is the question for the meaning of life. The searching for a 'natural lifespan' is meaningless when it wants to find in nature a given norm for the duration of life. It can only have meaning when it tries to formulate the conditions for the experience of life as successful and meaningful.
The current normative debate on age-related biomedical innovations and the extension of the human lifespan has important shortcomings. Mainly, the complexity of the different normative dimensions relevant for ethical and/or juridicial norms is not fully developed and the normative quality of teleological and deontological arguments is not properly distinguished. This article addresses some of these shortcomings and develops the outline of a more comprehensive normative framework covering all relevant dimensions.
A chronic coronary occlusion consists of an atherosclerotic plaque and one or several thrombi. It clinically imitates a tight stenosis but is exempt from the risk of truly unstable angina or myocardial infarction. Hence, quality of life is at stake and not longevity. This holds true for balloon angioplasty as well as for surgery. Indications for angioplasty are based on an estimate of technical difficulties and clinical risks balanced against potential subjective benefit and amount of viable myocardium concerned.
This article summarizes recent findings in a case study of exceptional longevity. CM, a resident of San Rafael, California, was 114 years old in August 1996. He is the first properly verified case of a 114-year-old man in human history (although a few women have been known to live longer). Our investigation of CM continues as we attempt to gather additional information about his life, family history, and current condition. Here, we consider only two aspects of this case: its authenticity and its significance in the history of human longevity.
International Journal of Aging & Human Development
This qualitative study provides a comprehensive account of the social and life experiences and strategies and personality attributes that characterize exceptional longevity (living to 100 or over). It is based on nine semi-structured interviews of relatively healthy and functional Greek centenarians of both sexes. The analytic approach was thematic and based on grounded theory. We found that our participants were characterized by selectiveness in their socializing with other people and tendency to avoid conflicts.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are of primary importance as they cause damage to lipids, proteins, and DNA either endogenously by cellular mechanism, or through exogenous exposure to environmental injury factors, including oxidation insult factors, such as tobacco smoke. Currently 46.3 million adults (25.7 percent of the population) are smokers. This includes 24 million men (28.1 percent of the total) and more than 22 million women (23.5 percent). The prevalence is highest among persons 25-44 years of age. Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing several chronic disorders.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-shortening disorder that affects over 30,000 people in the U.S. and 70,000 worldwide. CF is caused by mutations in the CFTR gene, which codes for the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein. CFTR is a chloride and bicarbonate channel and regulates several ion transporters at the epithelial cell membrane, controlling hydration or ionic composition of epithelial secretions. Management of CF is currently supportive, but recent advances in drug development have focused on therapies that assist mutant CFTR function.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a common vascular disease that reduces blood flow capacity to the legs of patients. PAD leads to exercise intolerance that can progress in severity to greatly limit mobility, and in advanced cases leads to frank ischemia with pain at rest. It is estimated that 12 to 15 million people in the United States are diagnosed with PAD, with a much larger population that is undiagnosed. The presence of PAD predicts a 50% to 1500% increase in morbidity and mortality, depending on severity.