In the opening post of this blog I started by saying ‘Life extension’ as a term referring to healthy longevity technologies and attempts just does not cut it anymore and I cited luxury as one reason. There’s another important reason, coming from the already existing medical use of this term to ditch this concept to be used for our Open Lifespan purposes. The terms ‘life extension’, ‘extending life’ are used in the medical context to provide extra days, weeks, months to late stage, terminally diseased people, think of a final stage lung cancer patient. These patients are already in a limbo, in & out of hospital Intensive Care Units. Picture medical ventilators, dialysis machines, feeding tubes, ICP monitors. For the majority of these patients this life extension process through medical life support is nothing but a prolonged dying process. It is life devalued. Excluding more and more of the functional life formerly known. It is is life exclusion, it is life dissimilation.
At the total opposite end of the spectrum Open Healthspan technologies can be found (the seeds of things to come) counteracting ongoing biological aging processes in the functional human body, to keep age-associated functional decline and increasing mortality continuously at bay. This process largely starts from healthy and aims to maintain that healthiness. Through maintaining healthy it enables Open Lifespan, open-ended, indefinite lifespan. It yields Open Life. It includes more and more potential life into the life lived. It assimilates further life into the actual life. It is life inclusion.
Conceptually speaking life extension at the ICU and Open Life are not just apples and oranges, but polar opposites.