Life expectancy has seen a dramatic rise in the last fifty years.  Nearly 20% in the UK, and 40% globally. While this is to be celebrated, living longer carries with it risks for all of us and dangers for society as a whole.  As Jonathan Swift wrote three hundred years ago (in his story of Luggnagg where some never die), everyone wants to live forever but no one wishes to be old.  An ageing population requires care from an ever smaller proportion of working age folk and there are already signs that health services can't cope.  While calls to legalise euthanasia mount.    

Have we medicalised death and isolated the aged when instead we should be recreating family and intergenerational community?   More fundamentally, should we accept that death is part of life and stop  chasing permanent health and well-being, when it is not only costly but impossible to deliver?   Or will medical progress enable ever longer and healthier lives, and do we instead all need to work longer to pay for it all?

Professor of Biogerontology David Gems, University of Oxford epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta, and tech-philosopher Nolen Gertz explore increased life expectancy and the potential reality of living forever. Güneş Taylor hosts.

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