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Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)

New publication by Johann Roduit, Tobias Eichinger, and Walter Glannon: Science fiction and human enhancement: radical life-extension in the movie 'In Time' (2011)

Johann Roduit, Tobias Eichinger, and Walter Glannon have published a new paper in Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy: Science fiction and human enhancement: radical life-extension in the movie ‘In Time’ (2011), as part of the SNF Project: Science Fiction and the Ethics of Human Enhancement (Project 165222)

Roduit, J.A.R., Eichinger, T. & Glannon, W. Med Health Care and Philos (2018).

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The ethics of human enhancement has been a hotly debated topic in the last 15 years. In this debate, some advocate examining science fiction stories to elucidate the ethical issues regarding the current phenomenon of human enhancement. Stories from science fiction seem well suited to analyze biomedical advances, providing some possible case studies. Of particular interest is the work of screenwriter Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, S1m0ne, In Time, and Good Kill), which often focuses on ethical questions raised by the use of new technologies. Examining the movie In Time (2011), the aim of this paper is to show how science fiction can contribute to the ethical debate of human enhancement. In Time provides an interesting case study to explore what could be some of the consequences of radical life-extension technologies. In this paper, we will show how arguments regarding radical life-extension portrayed in this particular movie differ from what is found in the scientific literature. We will see how In Time gives flesh to arguments defending or rejecting radical life-extension. It articulates feelings of unease, alienation and boredom associated with this possibility. Finally, this article will conclude that science fiction movies in general, and In Time in particular, are a valuable resource for a broad and comprehensive debate about our coming future.