Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 525–533 | Cite as

Disabilities and aging

  • Myles N. Sheehan


Both older persons and those who havedisabilities can encounter discrimination whenthey seek medical care. Just as ageism andstereotypes about older persons mayinappropriately limit medical care for theelderly, limits may be placed on medical carefor those who are disabled simply because ofthe presence of a disability. At the sametime death is the natural end of the lifespanfor all individuals and there are situationswhen aggressive medical care is not indicated. It is not right to always insist on ``doingeverything'' for a person even if that personmay be at risk otherwise for discrimination. Using the example of the elderly, this paperexamines the risks of discrimination and thedangers of overtreatment in caring for olderpersons and suggests parallels in theappropriate care of those who havedisabilities.

ageism disability end-of-life care geriatric medicine 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Myles N. Sheehan
    • 1
  1. 1.Stritch School of MedicineLoyola University ChicagoUSA

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