Advances in medical technology and the rapidly increasing population of older Americans are causing people to question the ethical limits of life-extending interventions. How do we weigh issues involving equity, efficiency, autonomy, natural life span, and responsibility for the financial burdens of health care for the elderly? In this collection of essays, leaders in the fields of ethics, medicine, nusing, economics and public policy explore the pressing issues of providing health care for the elderly.
Preface -- Proposals to Limit Care -- Intolerable Necessity: Limiting Health Care for the Elderly -- Intergenerational Equity in an Age of Limits: Confessions of of a Prodigal Parent -- Philosphical Foundations -- A Philosophy of Finitude: Ethics and the Humanities in the Allocation of Resources -- Ethical Options in the Care of the Elderly -- Natural Life-Span and Natural Law Ethics -- Clinical Perspectives -- Surrogate Decisions for Nursing Home Residents -- The Appropriateness of Life-Sustaining Care for Older People -- Can We Set Limits and Enhance Autonomy? -- Economics and Public Policy -- Is Global Budgeting the Way to Set Limits on Health Care for the Elderly? -- Counting the Costs of Lifesaving Interventions for the Elderly -- Cost Containment and Conflicts of Interest in the Care of the Elderly -- Changing the Debate About Health Care for the Elderly -- Gender, Equity, and Distributive Justice -- Achieving Equity and Setting Limits: The Importance of Gender -- Ageism, Sexism, and Health Care: Why We Need Old Women in Power -- How Age Should Matter: Justice as the Basis for Limiting Care to the Elderly -- Exceptions and the Elderly -- Personal Autonomy and Social Responsibility -- Personal Choice and Public Rationing -- Imposing Limits or Changing Attitudes: Strategies for Change -- Old Age and Euthanasia: A Theological and Personal Perspective -- Ethics and Aging: Callahan and Beyond