Anti-aging medicine is characterised by significant ‘hype’, hope and promise. This article examines the conditions giving rise to and sustaining this field. It questions its key premises, highlights the politico-economic ‘drivers’ of its innovations, and identifies the key actor networks sustaining its practices. As the article argues, it is highly questionable whether the viability of anti-aging medicine can be sustained as a discrete field of practice in the longer term. The instability of this field stems from its reliance on a faulty epistemological premise: that aging is a disease requiring technological intervention. In addition, anti-aging medicine is dependent on a series of fragile links and destabilising tendencies that threaten its long-term future. As sweeping promises regarding the ‘revolutionary’ potential of anti-aging medicine are made, financial, industry, government and public support becomes ever more contingent upon those utopian promises being realised. For reasons we discuss, this may not be possible. The article concludes by exploring the future of anti-aging medicine, highlighting a number of potential alternative scenarios.
Medicine Studies – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2009