By Ilia Stambler
This paintings explores the heritage of life-extensionism within the twentieth century. The time period life-extensionism is intended to explain an ideological procedure professing that radical existence extension (far past the current existence expectancy) is fascinating on moral grounds and is feasible to accomplish via unsleeping clinical efforts. This paintings examines significant traces of life-extensionist concept, in chronological order, over the process the twentieth century, whereas concentrating on significant seminal works consultant of every development and interval, by way 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 elements of a bigger modern social and ideological discourse, linked to significant political upheavals and social and monetary styles. the subsequent 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 during the century a number of common biomedical tools whose improvement or functions have been linked to radical hopes for life-extension. past mere hopefulness, this paintings argues, the need to noticeably lengthen human existence usually constituted an impressive, although not often stated, motivation for biomedical study and discovery. it is going to be proven that novel fields of biomedical technological know-how frequently had their beginning in far-reaching goals of radical lifestyles extension. The dynamic dichotomy among reductionist and holistic tools can be emphasised. the second one aim is to enquire the ideological and socio-economic backgrounds of the proponents of radical lifestyles extension, which will confirm how ideology and monetary stipulations encouraged the life-extensionists and the way it affected the technology they pursued. For that objective, the biographies and key writings of numerous well-known sturdiness advocates are studied. Their particular ideological premises (attitudes towards faith and growth, pessimism or optimism relating to human perfectibility, and moral imperatives) in addition to their socioeconomic stipulations (the skill to behavior and disseminate learn 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 specific kind of medical firm, to specific everyday country ideologies. The 3rd, extra normal, target is to gather a large check in of life-extensionist works, and, in keeping with that check in, to set up universal qualities and targets definitive of life-extensionism, resembling valuation of existence and fidelity, regardless of all of the range of equipment and ideologies professed. This paintings will give a contribution to the certainty of utmost expectancies linked to biomedical growth which have been scarcely investigated through biomedical background.
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Additional info for A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century
He fist served in the army in 1880 (at the age of 18), and after the onset of WWI, at the age of 52, he wished to be mobilized again. During the war, he dedicated an enormous effort both to treating soldiers personally at the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital in Lyon, as well as making massive donations to the army, ranging from vaccinations to bandages to radiography exams. After the Nazi occupation of France and the establishment of the collaborationist Vichy regime under Marshal Philippe Pétain (from July 1940 to August 1944), Lumière’s loyalty did not seem to change in the very least.
Thus, Arnold Lorand observed the similarities between Myxoedema (thyroid deficiency) and senescence. Hence he designated a causative role in senility to the thyroid gland impairment, seeing aging as a peculiar form of disease that could be treated by supplying thyroid extracts from animals, their only available source. Generally, Lorand prescribed rather standard hygienic regimens: much fresh air and sunshine, breathing deeply, exercising, consuming meat once a day and lots of vegetables (Metchnikoff’s “acidulated milk” was also recommended), masticating properly, bathing, ensuring regular elimination, sound sleep, avoiding overstrain by work (reserving a day in a week for complete rest), avoiding mental stress, benefiting from marriage and neither overdoing nor completely avoiding sex, temperance with alcohol, tobacco and other stimulants.
The technique basically involved grafting pieces of testicular tissue into the scrotum (not replacing the entire organ as might be imagined). After testing the technique in animal models, in 1920 he started male sex gland transplantations in humans for the explicit purpose of rejuvenation and life prolongation. Between 1920 and 1923, 52 such testicular grafting operations were performed: in one case the graft was taken from man (a homograft), in all the other cases from apes (xenografts). 105 Refinements on Voronoff’s technique were offered by his collaborators: Édouard Retterer, Placide Mauclaire, Lois 30 Dartigues, Raoul Baudet and others.
A History of Life-Extensionism in the Twentieth Century by Ilia Stambler