Future medicineBMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7228.194 (Published 15 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:194
- Kamran Abbasi
Horizon: Life and Death in the 21st Century, BBC2, 4, 5, 6 January
An elderly Texan oilman has offered a fortune to anyone who can prevent him dying. He doesn't think he will have to wait longer than 10 years to have ageing reversed and immortality bestowed on him. In fact, he knows exactly what he's going to do for eternity: “I'll do a lot of travelling, find me a very nice girlfriend, and enjoy life. After that, I'll get back to work, find some oil, and read the newspaper.” What he'd really like to do is go and live on Mars. Not as crazy an idea as it sounds when you realise that the Earth's supply of oil is likely to run out in the next millennium.
But his offer is cunning. How long would a scientist have to wait before getting paid? Still, countless scientists throughout the world are striving for the same goal. Immortality is next to godliness, a product with a universal market. The inventor will achieve unimaginable fame and fortune, far more than our Texan dreamer could deliver even if he …