Lets say that a method has been discovered to transfer the 'life-force' from one individual to another, killing the donor but providing the recipient with healing and an extended life. The healthier and younger the donor is the more life is transferred to the recipient. It is not possible to do a partial transfer from a donor, a donor must die to transfer their life energy.
The possibility of killing other's to gain eternal youth is obvious, but lets assume the government is aware of this and has harsh laws to prevent this. It also requires specialty tools to do that are hard enough to make that no individual is likely to be able to create their own in secret. There is still an black market trying to gain eternal youth this way, but it's limited and out of scope for this question.
My question is what can the government do to make ethical use of this ability? That is to say is there any way a government can make limited use of ability to kill one person to save another in an ethical manner that would be supported by the citizens as a whole and not involve regular callous killing of 'undesirables' just to use their life-energy? I'm also interested in what policies and ethical guidelines the government may need to put in place to prevent abuse of authorized methods or any other 'slippery slop' sort of situation where people start expanding the list of acceptable uses or otherwise abuse the system in morally questionable ways?
Some specifics of how the transfer works.
- Lifeforce must be transferred from recipient(s) to donor(s) at the time of donor death, there is not 'bottling' lifeforce for later use. Similarly recipient(s) and donor(s) must be in the same location to do the transfer
- A Recipient's can have the the aging process 'healed', effectively de-aging them until they reach their optimal healthy age (~21) as they gain lifeforce.
- Lifeforce transfer is not 100% efficient, there will always be some lost in lifeforce during the transfer. Meaning killing a healthy donor to de-age a healthy recipient will result in a net lose in years lived across the two.
- It's more efficient to heal serious injuries or illness then to simply reverse aging in regards to extending life of an individual using lifeforce of another
- To avoid situations of 'wasting' lifeforce of a healthy donor it's possible to transfer the captured energy to more then one recipient at a time
- Life-force can only be transferred between similar organisms. So you have to kill a human to heal a human, you can't use a cow as the donor. Though you could kill a cow to heal a different cow if you wanted.
So far I have thought of the potential area's that a government may consider using this ability. I'm interested in both other areas I missed, any potential issues with the listed issues, and more general policies on how to avoid abuse of this ability (roughly listed from less to more controversial)
- Capturing lifeforce when pulling the plug on a permanently comatose or brain-dead individual.
- Allowing multuple individuals diagnosed with terminal illness to join a 'death lottery' where one or more of the lottery member's will be killed to heal the terminal condition of another member of the lottery. Obviously it would be randomly selected who was healed and who was killed, and it would be up to the individual if they wanted to join such a lottery or not.
- Healing a beloved pet with the lifeforce of another pet that is going to be euthanized (though, will this option be worth the risk of authorizing veterinarians to posses such easily abused equipment?)
- Using the lifeforce of criminal who received a death penalty to heal terminal individuals, likely using a lottery system to pick recipients?
- Possibly assisted suicide, in limited cases after appropriate therapeutic consulting to ensure individual is in right mind and can't be talked out of suicide etc. This may require it's own question.
- Abortions, just to get even more controversial.