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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Anji Wall, PhD (Saint Louis University)
Description: This is a comprehensive exploration of the intersection of ethics and gerontology that brings together ethical theory, empirical research, and personal experience.
Purpose: According to the authors, the purpose is to bring together "critical reflections on ethics, aging, and society." Through its discussion of feminist theory, the context of aging and clinical ethics, this book truly provides deep insights into ethics and gerontology.
Audience: The authors identify a wide audience for this book, including philosophers, ethicists, social workers, physicians, and nurses. The first two sections, which discuss feminist theory and its application to the context of gerontological ethics, are of most interest to philosophers and ethicists interested in theoretical ethics. The third section, which presents cases that illustrate ethical issues in aging, appeals more to physicians and other members of the medical team interested in practical clinical ethics.
Features: The first section develops the argument that a feminist ethic based on relationships and informed by narrative is a more appropriate lens through which to approach ethical issues in aging as compared to a focus on the primacy of individual autonomy. The second section focuses on the context of gerontology and the ethical issues that result from this context. In particular, it discusses the negative view that many elderly have of their bodies, perceptions of the time between retirement and serious health problems, anti-aging medicine, public policy and aging, and the role of the home and the nursing home in the lives of the elderly. The final section discusses practical ethical issues in gerontology including elder abuse, end-of-life decisions, and the impact of disasters on the elderly.
Assessment: This is a valuable addition to the libraries of those interested in feminist theory, clinical ethics, and gerontology.