Would you choose to live to 120 or beyond if medical advances could take you well past the century mark? That’s a question that was posed to 2,000 American adults of all ages in a recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center.
More than half said they wouldn’t want to live that long, though two-thirds thought that other people would.
Survey respondents expressed wariness about new medical treatments to radically extend life. Those who had already heard of research in this field were more likely to view it optimistically and were more inclined to say that they would personally want these life-extending treatments.
In terms of current treatments to manage chronic diseases that can speed aging, only 1 in 4 of those who answered the survey said they have “a lot” of confidence that new medicines and treatments have been carefully tested before being offered to patients. About 40 percent of the respondents said medical treatments “often create as many problems as they solve” and don’t usually provide longer, better-quality lives.
Asked how long they would like to live, more than two-thirds said they preferred between 79 and 100. The median ideal life span: 90 years. That’s about 11 years longer than the current average U.S. life expectancy, which is 78.7 years.
What do you think? Would you want to live to 120?
Deborah Kotz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @debkotz2.