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Ending Midlife BiasNew Values for Old Age$
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Nancy S. Jecker

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190949075

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190949075.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 July 2021

Time’s Passage and the Narrative Self

Time’s Passage and the Narrative Self

(p.99) 4 Time’s Passage and the Narrative Self
Ending Midlife Bias

Nancy S. Jecker

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 explores the metaphor of life as a story and shows how it serves as a corrective for midlife bias by keeping attention directed to the whole of human life. It delineates epistemological, ontological, and normative components of narrative. Narrative framing of medical decisions incorporates the whole story of a person’s life (integrity); manages claims of the self at distinct time slices to serve the whole, temporally extended self (prudence); and lends itself to treating each life stage equally (fairness). In cases involving surrogate decision-making for people with dementia, narrative understanding directs us to a person’s complete life. It avoids basing decisions on a single moment (time slice) when an advance directive was executed. Rather than equating personal identity with a mature, midlife self, narrative conceptions of personal identity regard all life stages as constitutive of identity.

Keywords:   narrative, narrative identity, personal identity, dementia, surrogate decision-making, autonomy, integrity, prudence, fairness, advance directive

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