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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: 02 August 2021

Healthcare Across the Lifespan

Healthcare Across the Lifespan

(p.157) 6 Healthcare Across the Lifespan
Ending Midlife Bias

Nancy S. Jecker

Oxford University Press

Part II draws on the philosophical framework set forth in Part I to tackle practical and policy concerns. Chapter 6 demonstrates the tendency toward midlife bias in both geriatric and pediatric bioethics and counters it with techniques that use life stage sensitive values. The chapter puts forth a 3-step dignity-guided method for addressing paradigmatic geriatric cases, such as dementia, where central capabilities are at-risk. The chapter also interrogates Joel Feinberg’s influential view that stresses children’s future autonomy. It argues that this approach overlooks children’s life stage–related capabilities and the value of nurturing care during early childhood. Chapters 7 and 8 turn to long-term care and assess 3 options for meeting the needs of care-dependent older adults: family caregiving, migrant caregiving, and robotic caregiving. It highlights the dignity of family and migrant caregivers as well as their elderly care recipients. It cautions against midlife bias in designing and deploying robotic caregivers and underscores the importance of sociable robots that offer companionship for older end users. Chapter 9 turns to ageism and its appearance in polices ranging from selecting subjects for clinical research to allocating scarce healthcare resources and mandating retirement. Chapter 10 applies a dignity analysis to the end of life, exploring respect for dignity of dying, newly dead, and long-gone human beings. Using narrative analysis, the chapter invites thinking about the end of life and the period following as the winding down of a story, which does not necessarily occur in a linear fashion or simultaneous with human biological death. The closing chapters spotlight the future of population aging (Chapter 11) and make a pitch for life stage sensitive moral theory (Chapter 12).

Keywords:   dignity, pediatric bioethics, precedent autonomy, child’s right to an open future, Joel Feinberg, nurturing care, midlife bias, philosophy of childhood, geriatric bioethics, dementia

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