April 16, 2024

‘I feel much younger than I look’

This is not an appropriate venue for a discussion of my age, but I think that most readers will sympathise with my occasional interest in turning the clock back a few years. What if the hoary adage, “you're only as old as you feel”, could have the force of law? 

Last year, a flamboyant positivity guru tested this theory in a Dutch court by applying to have his legal age changed from 69 to 49. To no one's surprise, he lost, but the reasoning for the adverse judgement was peculiar (as reported in the media, anyway). The court declared that too much government paperwork depends upon an agreed biological age. At a time when self-identification for gender is widely accepted, this line of reasoning is surprisingly weak. 

Which brings me to an intriguing article in the Journal of Medical Ethics (see below) which supports the notion of self-defining age. The author bases it on the need to prevent discrimination on the basis of age, or ageism. I wonder how the courts will respond to this argument. 

Michael Cook
What if we could turn the clock back?