1st Edition

Planning Later Life Bioethics and Public Health in Ageing Societies

    276 Pages 4 Color & 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    276 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the relevance of modern medicine and healthcare in shaping the lives of elderly persons and the practices and institutions of ageing societies. Combining individual and social dimensions, Planning Later Life discusses the ethical, social, and political consequences of increasing life expectancies and demographic change in the context of biomedicine and public health.

    By focusing on the field of biomedicine and healthcare, the authors engage readers in a dialogue on the ethical and social implications of recent trends in dementia research and care, advance healthcare planning, or the rise of anti-ageing medicine and prevention. Bringing together the largely separated debates of individualist bioethics on the one hand, and public health ethics on the other, the volume deliberately considers the entanglements of envisioning, evaluating, and controlling individual and societal futures. So far, the process of devising and exploring the various positive and negative visions and strategies related to later life has rarely been reflected systematically from a philosophical, sociological, and ethical point of view.

    As such, this book will be crucial to those working and studying in the life sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences, particularly in the areas of bioethics, social work, gerontology and aging studies, healthcare and social service, sociology, social policy, and geography and population studies.

    List of Figures and Tables

    Notes on Contributors


    Mark Schweda, Larissa Pfaller, and Silke Schicktanz

    Part 1: Conceptions of Aging and Old Age

    1. "A Season to Everything"? Considering Life-Course Perspectives in Bioethical and Public-Health Discussions on Aging

    Mark Schweda

    2. Becoming Oneself: Toward a New Philosophy of Ageing

    Thomas Rentsch

    3. Third Age and Fourth Age in Aging Societies – Divergent Social and Ethical Discourses

    François Höpflinger

    4. The Nature of the Fourth Age as a Challenge to Aging Societies

    Paul Higgs and Chris Gilleard

    Part 2: Perspectives and Problems of Old Age in the Context of Medicine and Healthcare

    5. Old Age, Potentials, and Vulnerability

    Andreas Kruse

    6. Competence and Cognitive Deterioration: Are We Paying Enough Attention to Ethical Issues?

    Perla Werner and Silke Schicktanz

    7. Opt In or Opt Out? Rethinking the Provision of Life-Sustaining Medical Technology to the 'Old Old'

    Hsiu-I Yang

    8. Not Growing Old – Gracefully

    Søren Holm

    9. How to Think About Age-Group Justice: The Capabilities Approach

    Nancy S. Jecker

    Part 3: Individual Provisions and Public Policies in Aging Societies

    10. Final Decisions for the Final Crisis: Hopes and Hypes Regarding the Advance Directive in Germany

    Kai Brauer

    11. Preparing Existential Decisions in Later Life: Advance Healthcare Planning

    Ralf J. Jox

    12. Articulating the Case for the Longevity Dividend

    S. Jay Olshansky

    13. Paradoxes of Planning Later Life: Anti-Aging Practices and the Lived Body

    Larissa Pfaller and Frank Adloff

    14. The Visionary Shaping of Dementia Research: Imaginations and Scenarios in Biopolitical Narratives and Ethical Reflections

    Silke Schicktanz

    15. Solidarity and Family Care for an Aging Population

    Ruud ter Meulen

    16. Legacies, Generations, and Aging Futures: The Ethics of Intergenerativity

    Stephen Katz and Peter J. Whitehouse



    Mark Schweda is Research Fellow at the Department for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, University Medical Center Göttingen.

    Larissa Pfaller is Research Associate at the Institute of Sociology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and currently Deputy Professor at the University of Hamburg.

    Kai Brauer is a sociologist and teaches empirical methods and sociology of aging at Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (CUAS).

    Frank Adloff is Professor of Sociology at the University of Hamburg.

    Silke Schicktanz is a bioethicist and Professor for Cultural and Ethical Studies of Biomedicine at the Department for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, University Medical Center Göttingen.

    Planning Later Life provides an accessible and well-written volume for interdisci-plinary scholars and non-scientific readers. It acquires a reasonable balance between a width of perspectives and depths of discussing the implications of an increasing life expectancy."

    Martin Sand, Monash Bioethics Review.