Following on from the recent Pew Research poll on radical life extension, the Canadian organization CARP ran their own similar poll on a selection of older people. It makes for an interesting comparison, but again it is clearly the case that advocates for longevity science - extending healthy life and eliminating the diseases and degenerations of aging - have a lot of work left to do:
It has to be pointed out that Pew poll was taken among a general population sample, weighted to reflect current US census data, and therefore containing all ages. The CARP sample is made up of members, whose average age is about 70. This will lead to significant differences in attitudes to health care and longevity between the two samples. CARP members are aware that there are radical life extension possibilities but are unlikely to embrace it for themselves. They are much less supportive than their American counterparts - even allowing for age differences in the sample - and cite resource pressures, think it is fundamentally unnatural and would not lead to a more productive economy.
When asked in detail, most CARP members think radical life extension is a bad thing, because it will lead to resource depletion and seniors will run out of savings. CARP members are half as interested in taking part in these life extension techniques as Americans, and much less convinced than Americans that others would like to take part. If they did take part in these treatments, CARP members are most concerned that their extra years would be healthy, not necessarily well-provided for.
CARP members expect to live as long as Americans wish to live, but they wish to live even longer, which may be reflection of greater confidence in our health care system. In a similar vein, CARP members are more confident humans will routinely live to be 120 years old by the year 2050 than Americans are. In a curious and counter-intuitive finding, CARP members are less likely than Americans to say these treatments would be available to everyone, and are more likely to say they will be reserved for the wealthy when they are available.
CARP members are more likely than Americans to agree these techniques would strain natural resources, are equally likely to find them fundamentally unnatural and are much less likely to think they will lead to a more productive economy. Most CARP members say they would not change what they are doing if they had an additional 20 years, while others say they will travel or volunteer.