Ethics of biological ages determination

How should one be allowed to handle data about one's own biological aging and how should third parties?
How should one be allowed to handle data about one's own biological aging and how should third parties?
Graphic: Ulrich Schneider

Principal Investigator: Nikolaus Knoepffler

The research group (RG) “Ethics of biological age(s) determination belongs to the Ethics Center / Department of EthicsExternal link in the Sciences of Jena University. Building on the longstanding expertise of the Ethics Center Jena, this RG accompanies the other projects with a respect to ethical issues. Like genetic tests, the research on biological aging can be used to predict the probable life span and age-related diseases more precisely.

The ethical subproject will address the following questions:

1) The problem of the right not to know, because knowledge about the probable lifetime can be threatening on the one hand, and useful to life on the other (correct choice of employer, family planning, etc.). Here, Ulrich Schneider should involve experts (e.g. lawyers), and systematize the corresponding ethical research on this question. At the same time, he accompanies the scientific projects in taking this right into account.

2) data protection. Here, too, Ulrich Schneider will specifically work on the problem with a group of experts from the Ethics Center Jena, as on the one hand it can be avoided that third parties, e.g. employers and health insurances, use this data in such a way that those affected are worse off, but on the other hand moral hazard can also be excluded (if you know about your shorter biological life span, e.g. by taking out a high life insurance, the system exploit).

3) In the third part of the ethics project, a group of experts with political decision-makers should also investigate the fundamental question of whether the verifiable difference between biological and chronological age would not be a reason for abandoning fixed retirement age.

Postdoctoral researcher: Ulrich Schneider

Lehrstuhl für Angewandte Ethik de

Global Applied Ethics InstituteExternal link