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Life extension and the burden of mortality: Leon Kass versus John Harris
  1. Andrea Sauchelli
  1. Correspondence to Dr Andrea Sauchelli, Department of Philosophy, Lingnan University, Castle Peak Road, Tuen Mun, New Territories, Hong Kong; andreasauchelli{at}


Some bioethicists have questioned the desirability of a line of biomedical research aimed at extending the length of our lives over what some think to be its natural limit. In particular, Leon Kass has argued that living longer is not such a great advantage, and that mortality is not a burden after all. In this essay, I evaluate his arguments in favour of such a counterintuitive view by elaborating upon some critical remarks advanced by John Harris. Ultimately, I argue that nothing substantial has been said by Kass to undermine the desirability of life-extending technologies.

  • Enhancement
  • Attitudes Toward Death
  • Research Ethics
  • Technology/Risk Assessment

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