By Ilia Stambler
This paintings explores the background of life-extensionism within the twentieth century. The time period life-extensionism is intended to explain an ideological approach professing that radical lifestyles extension (far past the current lifestyles expectancy) is fascinating on moral grounds and is feasible to accomplish via wide awake medical efforts. This paintings examines significant strains of life-extensionist suggestion, in chronological order, over the process the 20 th century, whereas targeting primary seminal works consultant of every development and interval, by means of such authors as Elie Metchnikoff, Bernard Shaw, Alexis Carrel, Alexander Bogomolets and others. Their works are thought of of their social and highbrow context, as components of a bigger modern social and ideological discourse, linked to significant political upheavals and social and financial styles. the next nationwide contexts are thought of: France (Chapter One), Germany, Austria, Romania and Switzerland (Chapter Two), Russia (Chapter Three), the U.S. and united kingdom (Chapter Four). This paintings pursues 3 significant goals. the 1st is to aim to spot and hint in the course of the century a number of frequent biomedical tools whose improvement or purposes have been linked to radical hopes for life-extension. past mere hopefulness, this paintings argues, the need to extensively delay human lifestyles frequently constituted an impressive, even though hardly stated, motivation for biomedical examine and discovery. it is going to be proven that novel fields of biomedical technology frequently had their starting place in far-reaching goals of radical existence extension. The dynamic dichotomy among reductionist and holistic tools should be emphasised. the second one objective is to enquire the ideological and socio-economic backgrounds of the proponents of radical lifestyles extension, on the way to make sure how ideology and monetary stipulations influenced the life-extensionists and the way it affected the technological know-how they pursued. For that goal, the biographies and key writings of numerous well-liked sturdiness advocates are studied. Their particular ideological premises (attitudes towards faith and development, pessimism or optimism relating to human perfectibility, and moral imperatives) in addition to their socioeconomic stipulations (the skill to behavior and disseminate examine in a selected social or monetary milieu) are tested in an try and discover what stipulations have inspired or discouraged life-extensionist idea. This examine argues for the inherent adjustability of life-extensionism, as a selected kind of clinical company, to specific frequent nation ideologies. The 3rd, extra basic, objective is to gather a huge sign up of life-extensionist works, and, in accordance with that check in, to set up universal characteristics and pursuits definitive of life-extensionism, reminiscent of valuation of existence and fidelity, regardless of all of the variety of equipment and ideologies professed. This paintings will give a contribution to the certainty of utmost expectancies linked to biomedical development which have been scarcely investigated by means of biomedical background.
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Additional info for A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century
Like Brown-Séquard and Voronoff, Steinach had to contend with the accusation that the results in patients were due to auto-suggestion. Steinach confronted the accusation by a wide range of animal experiments and by devising an “objective” test of activation (according to creatine levels). Like Brown-Séquard and Variot (long before the Helsinki guidelines for human experimentation of 1964), he often performed the surgery without the patients’ knowledge (during a concomitant procedure) and then observed the “objective” rejuvenating effects.
Yet another was an abandonment of actual rejuvenation research and practice in favor of more literary, science-fictional or philosophical treatments of the subject of extreme longevity – a futuristic discussion of its potential ethical and social impacts. Yet perhaps one of the central forms of withdrawal from rejuvenation attempts appears to have been a movement away from their underlying reductionism, and toward a more holistic perspective, emphasizing the mind-body connection. ”152 15. Rethinking rejuvenation – Auguste Lumière (1862-1954) One of the leading actors in the “holistic turn” in French life-extensionism of the 1930s-1940s was Auguste Lumière.
71 Metchnikoff understood the logic behind such interventions, but cautioned (1910):72 Dr. Lane, the uncommonly skillful and courageous English surgeon, dared to resort to operation, instead of a prolonged and ineffectual internal treatment… Naturally, such an operation is very dangerous and presently yields very many lethal cases. Dr. Lane did over 50 such operations, and at the beginning of the last year described in detail 39 cases. He lost 9 patients, or about 23%, which is a high mortality rate.
A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century by Ilia Stambler