Academic Writing - Task 2 (Model answer)

Advanced medical technology can extend the life of the sick and aged to well beyond the age of 70. Discuss the possible effects of increasing the natural lifespan.

People today are living longer because of the health care facilities available to them and due to medical advances whereas the expected lifespan of a person in the past was much lower as people died of diseases that are curable nowadays more often.

Many people dream of an eternal life and living beyond 70 might make them feel happy. They will be able to work longer, enjoy their grandchildren, leisure time, travel and relax after having spent their youth working hard. However if someone in not physically fit or has problems moving around they might view their life as troublesome and find they cannot enjoy it as much as they would have liked to.

Financially speaking, an ageing population does not benefit an economy. A country has to support the elderly with pensions which puts a strain on government funds. Other social benefits have to be provided to them such as old age homes, catering services, mobile libraries, discounted prices etc. What is more, senior citizens are not productive and so a country relies on its young workers.

To sum up, quality of life is important rather than how long a person lives. If someone has nothing to look forward to in their old age, they are likely to feel depressed whereas if someone regards life as a precious gift then they will appreciate it more and seek a long life. An increase in the lifespan does not benefit a country which has to stretch its resources to provide benefits to those who live a long life.

Question taken from 202 Useful Exercises for IELTS
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