Ethics and Information Technology

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 203–220 | Cite as

Senior citizens and the ethics of e-inclusion

  • Emilio Mordini
  • David WrightEmail author
  • Kush Wadhwa
  • Paul De Hert
  • Eugenio Mantovani
  • Jesper Thestrup
  • Guido Van Steendam
  • Antonio D’Amico
  • Ira Vater
Original Paper


The ageing society poses significant challenges to Europe’s economy and society. In coming to grips with these issues, we must be aware of their ethical dimensions. Values are the heart of the European Union, as Article 1a of the Lisbon Treaty makes clear: “The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity…”. The notion of Europe as a community of values has various important implications, including the development of inclusion policies. A special case of exclusion concerns the gap between those people with effective access to digital and information technology and those without access to it, the “digital divide”, which in Europe is chiefly age-related. Policies to overcome the digital divide and, more generally speaking, e-inclusion policies addressing the ageing population raise some ethical problems. Among younger senior citizens, say those between 65 and 80 years old, the main issues are likely to be universal access to ICT and e-participation. Among the older senior citizens, say those more than 80 years old, the main issues are mental and physical deterioration and assistive technology. An approach geared towards the protection of human rights could match the different needs of senior citizens and provide concrete guidance to evaluate information technologies for them.


Digital divides E-inclusion Informed consent Right to dignity Senior citizens 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emilio Mordini
    • 1
  • David Wright
    • 2
    Email author
  • Kush Wadhwa
    • 3
  • Paul De Hert
    • 4
  • Eugenio Mantovani
    • 4
  • Jesper Thestrup
    • 5
  • Guido Van Steendam
    • 6
  • Antonio D’Amico
    • 7
  • Ira Vater
    • 8
  1. 1.Centre for Science, Society and CitizenshipRomeItaly
  2. 2.Trilateral Research & Consulting LLPLondonUK
  3. 3.Global Security Intelligence LimitedLondonUK
  4. 4.Vrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  5. 5.In-JeT ApSBirkerodDenmark
  6. 6.International Forum For BiophilosophyLeuveBelgium
  7. 7.Inclusion Alliance FOR EuropeBucharestRomania
  8. 8.European Business Associates SRLRomeItaly

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