glyph 527: Fight Aging! email newsletter and website . science, life extension, regenerative medicine, news, analysis, commentary
"Fight Aging! Newsletter" is an excellent egularly emailed newsletter and website. Hightly recommended. -ls
It is human nature to be capable of committing acts of great evil or economic self-destruction for years on end, and especially in groups. We are not at all far removed at the moment from large-scale genocides, collapsed kleptocracies, meaningless prohibitions, and more. So it's probably unsafe to assume that no state will outright ban the extension of healthy life via medicine in the future: there are more than enough examples of human collectives acting against the long-term self-interest of all their members for decades, and that becomes ever more likely if those at the top invent the means to profit personally from a widespread destruction of life and wealth.
For all that, I do think it's an unlikely outcome. The more plausible outcome is the one that is taking place right now: great economic harm to the pace and breadth of medical development through heavy, centralized regulation. Enormous, entirely unnecessary costs and very high barriers to entry are imposed on clinical applications of medicine, which ensures that a great deal of possible, plausible research and development never happens. Worse, in a system in which all that is not expressly permitted is forbidden - which is exactly the case for the FDA and similar regulatory bodies elsewhere in the world - radically different new technologies such as the means to treat aging are restricted by default, without any politician or bureaucrat having to raise a finger. The entire system of regulation must be changed to even allow them to be considered: which means more cost, more delay, and more work suppressed because it isn't cost-effective to undertake.
August 11, 2013