Here is a theory as to why, in this era of rejuvenation research and a growing longevity industry, most people continue to say that they would not wish to take advantage of medical technologies that allowed for a radical life extension of decades or centuries. We as a species discount the value of future gains quite aggressively. Being alive and in good health three decades from now is just not worth that much to the processes in our minds that assess values and balance them against actions and goals. Conforming to common behaviors in the primate hierarchy here and now, such as by not saying things that are too far out of the ordinary for one's demographic and peer group, will tend to win out. Most people will value present declarations of conformity more than they value any future gain in health and longevity.
Biomedical technology holds the promise of extending human life spans; however, little research has explored attitudes toward life extension. Investigated attitudes toward life extension about young adults, younger-old adults, and older-old adults. This survey asked young adults (n = 593), younger-old adults (n = 272), and older-old adults (n = 46) whether they would take a hypothetical life extension treatment as well as the youngest and oldest age at which they would wish to live forever.
Age cohorts did not vary in their willingness to use life extension; however, in all three age cohorts, a plurality indicated that they would not use it. Men indicated a higher level of willingness to use the life extension treatment than women. Younger-old and older-old adults indicated that they would prefer to live permanently at an older age than younger adults. If a life extension treatment were to become available that effectively stopped aging, young adults may be likely to use such a treatment to avoid reaching the ages at which older cohorts say they would prefer to live forever.