Challenges of an Aging Society: Ethical Dilemmas, Political Issues

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Rachel A. Pruchno, Michael A. Smyer
JHU Press, Aug 7, 2007 - Law - 448 pages
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In this important and timely collection, some of the best minds in gerontology and bioethics—including Nancy Dubler, Rick Moody, Andrew Achenbaum, Robert Hudson, and Robert Binstock—explore the ethical, social, and political challenges of an aging society. A unique combination of disciplines and perspectives—from economics to nursing, psychology to theology—this valuable synthesis of theory and practice provides frameworks and analyses for considering the ethical issues of both individual and societal aging.

The contributors address the major policy challenges of Social Security, Medicare, and prescription drugs as well as ethical issues ranging from individual autonomy to family responsibility to distributive justice. Specific topics covered include end-of-life decision making, family relations across generations, age-based intergenerational policies, and the reform of Social Security.

Contributors:W. Andrew Achenbaum, Ph.D., University of Houston; Vern L. Bengtson, Ph.D., University of Southern California; Robert H. Binstock, Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University; Christine E. Bishop, Ph.D., Brandeis University; Thomas R. Cole, Ph.D., University of Texas Medical School at Houston; Peter A. Diamond, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Nancy Neveloff Dubler, LL.B., Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Msgr. Charles J. Fahey, Fordham University; Lucy Feild, Ph.D., R.N., Partners Human Research Quality Improvement Program; Martha B. Holstein, Ph.D., DePaul University; Robert B. Hudson, Ph.D., Boston University; Eric R. Kingson, Ph.D., Syracuse University; Ronald J. Manheimer, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Asheville; Kyriakos S. Markides, Ph.D., University of Texas Medical Branch; Daniel C. Marson, J.D., Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham; H. Rick Moody, Ph.D., AARP; Peter R. Orszag, Ph.D., Brookings Institution; Rachel Pruchno, Ph.D., University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; Norella M. Putney, Ph.D., University of Southern California; Michael A. Smyer, Ph.D., Boston College; Bruce Stuart, Ph.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore; Melanie A. Wakeman, Ph.D., California State University, Los Angeles; Steven P. Wallace, Ph.D., University of California at Los Angeles; John B. Williamson, Ph.D., Boston College.


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Introduction The Science and Ethics of Aging Well
Autonomy and EndofLife Decisions
The Legal Aspects of EndofLife Decision Making
Assessing Competency to Make Medical Decisions at
Recasting the Policy Discourse
Challenges Prospects and Resilience
LongTerm Care Feminism and an Ethics of Solidarity
Transforming AgeBased Policies to Meet Fluid
The Political Paradoxes of Thinking Outside
Is Responsibility across Generations Politically Feasible?
Social Security Reform and Responsibility
Setting the Agenda for Social Security Reform
A Balanced Approach
Assessing the Returns from the New Medicare Drug Benefit
Prescription Drugs and Elders in the Twentyfirst Century

Aging Generational Opposition and the Future of the Family
Allocating Resources for Lifelong Learning for Older Adults

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About the author (2007)

Rachel A. Pruchno is a professor at the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey–School of Osteopathic Medicine. Michael A. Smyer is a professor of psychology and director of the Center on Aging and Work at Boston College.

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