It Is Time To Classify Biological Aging as a Disease

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It Is Time To Classify Biological Aging as a Disease 

What is considered to be normal and what is considered to be diseased is strongly influenced by historical context. Matters once considered to be diseases are no longer classified as such. For example, when black slaves ran away from plantations they were labeled to suffer from drapetomania and medical treatment was used to try to “cure” them. Similarly, masturbation was seen as a disease and treated with treatments such as cutting away the clitoris or cauterizing it. Finally, homosexuality was considered a disease as recently as 1974. In addition to the social and cultural influence on disease definition, new scientific and medical discoveries lead to the revision of what is a disease and what is not. This paper discusses whether we should start to classify aging as a disease.

Written by Sven Bulterijs, Raphaella S. Hull, Victor C. E. Björk, and Avi G. Roy.

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