THERE is little downside to the wonderful reality that human beings are now living longer than ever before. While many assume that society’s economic burden radically increases with greater longevity, the reality is the opposite. Everyone is better off because of longer life expectancies.
In America, a large part of funding for regenerative medicine comes from the Department of Defense, whose goal is to repair soldiers who come home wounded. That is an effort everyone recognizes as important. Yet, when it comes to repairing older people whose hearts and lungs are failing, society seems at peace accepting their demise because that is all humanity has ever known -- a state of mind that some call the "pro-death trance."