Aging Populations and Public Health Ethics

Oxford Handbooks Online 10 January 2019 The Oxford Handbook of Public Health Ethics Edited by Anna C. Mastroianni, Jeffrey P. Kahn, and Nancy E. Kass

Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2020-02

19 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2020

See all articles by Lois L. Shepherd

Lois L. Shepherd

University of Virginia Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities; University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: January 10, 2020

Abstract

This chapter examines three primary public health goals relating to elderly populations: promoting healthy aging (including aging in place), reducing health inequities, and extending life spans. It then considers the ways in which programs or policies to advance population-wide goals are challenged to meet ethical responsibilities to protect older adults from harm, respect their autonomy and dignity, and treat them fairly or justly when resources are limited. Lastly, by looking at a difficult situation commonly faced in hospitals — the discharge of an elderly patient who may not be able to safely return home — the chapter introduces questions about the relationship between public health ethics, clinical ethics, and social justice, and about the future role of public health as a field of inquiry and action.

Keywords: healthy aging, aging in place, health inequities, public health ethics, social justice, aging populations

Suggested Citation

Shepherd, Lois L., Aging Populations and Public Health Ethics (January 10, 2020). Oxford Handbooks Online 10 January 2019 The Oxford Handbook of Public Health Ethics Edited by Anna C. Mastroianni, Jeffrey P. Kahn, and Nancy E. Kass; Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2020-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3517317

Lois L. Shepherd (Contact Author)

University of Virginia Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities ( email )

Box 800758
Charlottesville, VA 22901
United States
434-982-3970 (Phone)

University of Virginia School of Law

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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