A World Growing Old: The Coming Health Care Challenges by Daniel Callahan

By Daniel Callahan

For far of the built international, well-being take care of a surging aged inhabitants looms as probably the most daunting difficulties of the arriving decade. during this e-book, individuals from various disciplinary backgrounds and nations talk about source allocation for the aged and debate plans for the years forward. Essays concentrate on 5 normal matters: the that means of outdated age, the objectives of drugs and future health take care of the aged, the stability among the desires of the old and young, the pressures of different social priorities, and the position of households, in particular the load on girls, in long term care.

In attention of the tough ethical and functional concerns concerned, the editors finish the amount with a distinct record containing coverage strategies from representatives of 8 international locations (the usa, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom). this significant quantity might be of curiosity to policymakers and a huge spectrum of future health care execs, in addition to to somebody attracted to the destiny of the aged or in coming health and wellbeing care demanding situations.

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Additional resources for A World Growing Old: The Coming Health Care Challenges (Hastings Center Studies in Ethics)

Sample text

But this stands in some tension with their current reluctance to increase spending for the elderly's care. In the United States there is more of an aversion to government involvement in health care provision of any kind. The outlook for the elderly here is thus equally uncertain. The American elderly may be now better off financially than their counterparts in other countries, but there is growing pessimism that the future will be as secure. Page 7 A few reports discuss or imply that the need to provide better services for the elderly will require more direct attention to priorities and the overall distribution of public resources.

More specifically, it would require us to identify those interventions of proven effectiveness that might bring about the largest number of quality-adjusted life years for the greatest number in the population. This policy goal can be formulated in terms of the maximum-benefit language of utilitarianism. But other ethical justifications are also possible. For example, a proponent of Norman Daniels's "natural life course" view might adopt this line of thought on grounds that a healthy old age is a condition we should prudentially choose for ourselves from behind the veil of ignorance.

In defense of a Rawlsian account of allocation of resources according to age, Norman Daniels is the most explicit in his reliance on an assumption of the natural life course as a background factor taken for granted in ethical debate. But it is precisely such an assumption about the natural that is increasingly subject to question, both from findings in the biology of aging and from the spread of cultural norms that erode any consensus about a natural old age. Indeed, it is just such an idea of nature that is rejected, in different ways, by each of the four scenarios described here.

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