Going Against the Stream: Ethical Aspects of Ageing and Care

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If the twentieth century was marked by the terrible ferocity of war and the marvellous advance of science, it was also marked by people living almost twice as long as in the previous century. This increase in lifespan passed almost unnoticed at first, but in the last ten years the problems of an older population have come home to the western world. The care they need and the fact that with the increase in age goes an increase in frailty poses many new ethical problems. Can we afford to maintain such a large ...
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Overview

If the twentieth century was marked by the terrible ferocity of war and the marvellous advance of science, it was also marked by people living almost twice as long as in the previous century. This increase in lifespan passed almost unnoticed at first, but in the last ten years the problems of an older population have come home to the western world. The care they need and the fact that with the increase in age goes an increase in frailty poses many new ethical problems. Can we afford to maintain such a large elderly population? How do you respect the autonomy of the elderly? How much should you strive to keep an eighty-year-old alive? These and many other questions are what this book attempts to face from within a Judaeo-Christian framework.

While these questions are very important, there is a need to go beyond practical solutions and look at the inspiration that drives the answers proposed by society today. Is caring for the frail just a professional approach to problems? Are modern attitudes actually destroying the basis of care? Is it necessary to go against the stream? As the book's title suggests the solution to many of the problems of care lies in preserving the tradition of care given to us by our forbears. Life is to be celebrated not death. We need a framework on which we can build a strong ethical, medical and social position for the older people in need of care. Only in this way can one sixth of the population feel secure and wanted in our society.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814628010
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press, The
  • Publication date: 1/30/2002
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Foreword
Introduction
1 Too Many Old People Cost Too Much 1
2 The Ministry of Caring for the Elderly 42
3 Authentic Autonomy in Elderly Care 75
4 The Long Goodbye 109
5 Mortal Questions 144
6 Opening the Final Door 186
Conclusion: The Challenge of the Future 223
App. I To Treat or Not to Treat: The Debate 233
App. II The Position of the Catholic Church 269
App. III An Ethical Framework for Clinical Decision-Making at the End of Life 275
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