Aging And Ethics

Philosophical Problems in Gerontology

  • Nancy S. Jecker

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. The Aging Individual

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Kurt Baier
      Pages 3-49
    3. Harry R. Moody
      Pages 51-92
    4. Thomas R. Cole
      Pages 93-111
    5. Sally Gadow
      Pages 113-120
  3. Aging and Filial Responsibility

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 121-121
    2. Gunhild O. Hagestad
      Pages 123-146
    3. Jane English
      Pages 147-154
    4. Daniel Callahan
      Pages 155-170
    5. Sara T. Fry
      Pages 171-186
    6. Evelyn M. Barker
      Pages 187-198
  4. Distributive Justice in an Aging Society

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 217-217
    2. Daniel Callahan
      Pages 219-226
    3. Norman Daniels
      Pages 227-246
    4. Paul T. Menzel
      Pages 285-305
    5. Jane A. Boyajian
      Pages 307-338
  5. Philosophical Reflections on Aging and Death

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 339-339
    2. Albert R. Jonsen
      Pages 341-352
    3. Lawrence J. Schneiderman
      Pages 353-365
    4. Nancy S. Jecker
      Pages 367-374
    5. Thomas Nagel
      Pages 375-388
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 389-394

About this book


The Aging Self and the Aging Society Ethical issues involving the elderly have recently come to the fore. This should come as no surprise: Since the turn of the century, there has been an eightfold in­ crease in the number of Americans over the age of sixty­ five, and almost a tripling of their proportion to the general population. Those over the age of eighty-five-­ the fastest growing group in the country-are twenty­ one more times as numerous as in 1900. Demographers expect this trend to accelerate into the twenty-first century. The aging of society casts into vivid relief a num­ ber of deep and troubling questions. On the one hand, as individuals, we grapple with the immediate experience of aging and mortality and seek to find in it philosophical or ethical significance. We also wonder what responsi­ bilities we bear toward aging family members and what expectations of others our plans for old age can reasona­ bly include. On the other hand, as a community, we must decide: What special role, if any, do older persons occupy in our society? What constitutes a just distribution of medical resources between generations? And, How can institutions that serve the old foster imperiled values, such as autonomy, self-respect, and dignity? Only recently have we begun to explore these themes, yet already a rich and fruitful literature has grown up around them.


Ethical Issues age aging autonomy death ethics gerontology health morality

Editors and affiliations

  • Nancy S. Jecker
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Washington School of MedicineSeattleUSA

Bibliographic information