Synopses & Reviews
Aging and Ethics explores the many ethical issues involving the elderly, their care, and their role in society-urgent concerns that have only recently come to the forefront. There are now eight times more Americans over the age of sixty-five than at the turn of this century; their proportion to the rest of the population has almost tripled. And this trend is expected to accelerate into the next century! This aging of society has raised an increasing number of deep and troubling questions: • What are our responsibilities toward aging family members? • What can we reasonably expect in our own old age? • What special role (if any) do older persons play in our society? • How can medical resources be distributed justly between generations? • How can institutions that serve the elderly preserve values such as autonomy, self-respect, and dignity? Nancy Jecker's timely new volume deals with these and other issues on four levels: the aging individual; aging and filial responsibility; distributive justice in an aging society; and philosophical reflections on aging and death. Aging and Ethics is must reading for professionals in a variety of health-related and counseling fields, as well as for the growing number of concerned laypeople who need to better understand the often compelling issues associated with aging today.
Table of Contents
Introduction. The Aging Individual. The Meaning of Life. The Meaning of Life and the Meaning of Old Age. Oedipus and the Meaning of Aging: Personal Reflections and Historical Perspectives. Recovering the Body in Aging. Aging and Filial Responsibility. The Aging Society as a Context of Family Life. What Do Grown Children Owe Their Parents? Families as Caregivers: The Limits of Morality. Health Care Decision Making. Rethinking Family Loyalties. The Role of Intimate Others in Medical Decision Making. Distributive Justice in an Aging Society. Limiting Health Care for the Old. A Lifespan Approach to Health Care. Old Age and the Rationing of Scarce Health Care Resources. Appeals to Nature in Theories of Age Group Justice. Paying the Real Costs of Lifesaving. Intent and Actuality. Philosophical Reflections on Aging and Death. Resentment and the Rights of the Elderly. Ancient Myth and Modern Medicine: Lessons from Baucis and Philemon. The Meaning of Temporality in Old Age. The Absurd. Index.