Ethics In An Aging Society / Edition 1

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Overview

Recent years have seen a growing interest in the questions of ethics and aging. Advances in medical technology have created dilemmas for physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals over such questions as the allocation of resources and a patient's "right to die." At the same time, the aging of the American population raises concerns about social policies that involve the role of government. In Ethics in an Aging Society Harry R. Moody examines both the clinical and the policy issues that center around aging.

Moody pays special attention to the ethical problems associated with two particularly timely concerns—Alzheimer's disease and the increasingly controversial issue of "rational suicide" for reasons of age. He also focuses on the rights of patients in long-term care and on the question of justice between generations (Are older patients using more than their "fair share" of scarce health care dollars?).

"These ethical questions," Moody emphasizes, "are not abstract ones. They arise in the specific historical and political context of America in the closing decade of the twentieth century... This book can best be understood as a meditation on two compelling liberal ideas—autonomy and justice—that have inspired our thinking about ethics and the aging society. The story which unfolds in the book is a story both about the power of those ideals and also about inescapable facts of old age that make those ideals problematic."

Johns Hopkins University Press

The book contains no figures.

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Editorial Reviews

New England Journal of Medicine

Moody's questioning and reassessment of the bioethics of geriatric care will provoke thoughtful argument.

Ethics

The main strength of Moody's work is the wealth of concrete detail he offers to demonstrate that, given the complexity of actual situations, abstract notions of rights and autonomy cannot be relied on for satisfactory analyses.

Health Progress

A useful resource for particular areas of interest such as nursing home placement and consent in the nursing home setting.

Pharos

A formidable, knowledgeable, wide-ranging treatise on the myriad ethical problems that confront us all in our now rapidly aging society.

From The Critics
Reviewer: David Thomasma, PhD (Loyola University Medical Center)
Description: This is a paperback edition of a book originally published in 1992 that explores the principles of ethical healthcare for the elderly. Among many issues it addresses are the problems of autonomy in nursing homes, age-based rationing, caring for Alzheimer's patients and their remnant of autonomy, and the concern about rational suicide among the elderly.
Purpose: Written by an authority in geriatric ethics, the book is designed as a meditation on liberal social notions of the place of the individual and society in human life; thus, it deals with individual liberty as well as community responsibility to protect such individual rights. These are complex issues, and Moody handles them well, with a good writing style and a clear grasp of the issues and his own suggestions about them.
Audience: The book is written for geriatric specialists, all those who care for the elderly, and the general public.
Features: This is a landmark contribution to the public discussion of what counts as proper care of the elderly and the promotion of their individual rights from the impact of diseases on them and the strains of social costs.
Assessment: The field of geriatric ethics grows daily. Although already four years old, the arguments on these exceptionally important topics are still current and helpful, although, naturally, the references are now a bit out-of-date. This is a small price to pay, because the paperback edition makes Moody's work even more accessible to a wider audience..
David Thomasma
This is a paperback edition of a book originally published in 1992 that explores the principles of ethical healthcare for the elderly. Among many issues it addresses are the problems of autonomy in nursing homes, age-based rationing, caring for Alzheimer's patients and their remnant of autonomy, and the concern about rational suicide among the elderly. Written by an authority in geriatric ethics, the book is designed as a meditation on liberal social notions of the place of the individual and society in human life; thus, it deals with individual liberty as well as community responsibility to protect such individual rights. These are complex issues, and Moody handles them well, with a good writing style and a clear grasp of the issues and his own suggestions about them. The book is written for geriatric specialists, all those who care for the elderly, and the general public. This is a landmark contribution to the public discussion of what counts as proper care of the elderly and the promotion of their individual rights from the impact of diseases on them and the strains of social costs. The field of geriatric ethics grows daily. Although already four years old, the arguments on these exceptionally important topics are still current and helpful, although, naturally, the references are now a bit out-of-date. This is a small price to pay, because the paperback edition makes Moody's work even more accessible to a wider audience..
Booknews
Moody examines both the clinical and the policy issues that center on aging, paying special attention to the ethical problems associated with Alzheimer's disease and the issue of "rational suicide" for reasons of age. He also focuses on the rights of patients in long-term care and on the question of justice between generations (i.e. are older patients using more than their "fair share" of scarce health care dollars?). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801853975
  • Publisher: Hopkins Fulfillment Service
  • Publication date: 3/1/1996
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Harry R. Moody is deputy director of the Brookdale Center on Aging of Hunter College.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
1 Ethics in an Aging Society: Old Answers, New Questions 1
Pt. 1 Principles and Problems
2 Bioethics and Geriatric Health Care 19
3 Ethical Dilemmas of Alzheimer's Disease 41
4 "Rational Suicide" on Grounds of Old Age? 71
Pt. 2 Ethics and Long-Term Care
5 The Long Good-bye: The Ethics of Nursing Home Placement 91
6 Ethical Dilemmas in the Nursing Home 109
7 Acts of Intervention 134
8 From Informed Consent to Negotiated Consent 158
Pt. 3 Justice between Generations
9 Should We Ration Health Care on Grounds of Age? 187
10 Generational Equity and Social Insurance 208
11 Intergenerational Solidarity 229
12 Conclusion: Ethics, Aging, and Politics as a Vocation 243
Notes 251
Index 283
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