Aging and Ethics
The salience of ethics in relation to aging is more pronounced in advanced economies, particularly Western, for three reasons: the relative size of the aging population is increasing because of fewer births; longevity has increased and the vitality of the aged in terms of physical mobility and health has greatly improved; and financial security, largely because their working lives occurred predominantly in a period of sustained economic growth, has significantly increased. In fact, people aged over 65 – the category which previously implied old, retired, and in a process of physical and mental decay awaiting death – have now been re-categorized in the “young-old” and the “old-old” (those aged 85 and above). Four major ethical concerns emerge in relation to the contemporary phenomenon of aging: (1) an aging workforce, (2) the social contribution and cost of a large aged population, (3) the impact on...
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