I’ve come up with this idea for a life extension treatment (extending life 30-40 years or so) involving a combination of telomere extension, stem cell therapy (not embryonic) and other medical/biological handwavium (science fiction writer lingo for “make it sound plausible”). This would be in a story set a few decades from now. My main character is a devout Catholic woman and I want to have her decide to take these treatments. So I want to make sure they would be morally licit.
In pondering the problem, I’ve come up with the following criteria that I’m extrapolating the Church might apply to this situation:
*]It would have to be morally licit in its means (such as no use of aborted fetal tissue, which I’ve already taken into consideration).
*]It would have to be able to be tested and implemented without endangering humans - this might be a grey area in my story as the first human trials may have resulted in cancer or other bad side effects, but the bugs will have been worked out by the time my character has to make her decision.
*]The societal implications of having people live longer will have had to be considered - the economy and so forth.
*]The technology must not be limited to only the wealthy - I’ve covered this base by having the providers require that a percentage the funds collected for the treatments will be donated to a worldwide “scholarship” pool.
*]I’m also considering the possibility that females such as my character who are approaching menopause might experience a resurgence of fertility and even their eggs would be more healthy. This would not pose a problem for my character - if I have her get pregnant it won’t be via IVF or anything.
n.b. - this is only a subplot of a novel whose main plot involves aliens arriving in the Solar System and interacting with humans. My idea for introducing this life extension subplot is so that my character can be around longer to witness more of the story’s events. Her descendants will also take turns as the focal point of the action, but I’d like to have her be there a bit longer than she would normally be.
Also, humans will be beginning to start colonizing space/other planets, so resources won’t be as much of an issue . . .