Geriatrics and Ethics

Humanity is aging. It is predicted that by 2050, a quarter of the world’s population will be 60 and older. A Pan American Health Organization study shows that most people over 60 years of age in Latin American and the Caribbean lack access to basic health care. In Florida, some 22 percent of the population is already at least 60. In that group, about 13 percent live below the poverty level. While ethical issues have always been of the greatest importance for the elder population, these issues attain much greater significance as that population increases.

The Geriatrics and Ethics Project provides an overview of leading ethical issues in aging. It is intended as an introduction to ethics and aging for students, health care professionals, scholars and policy makers, and has the following objectives:

  • To identify key ethical issues in geriatrics and ethics.
  • To develop the ability to articulate ethically optimized strategies for handling relevant ethical issues.
  • To understand and identify difficult or unusual ethical challenges in elder populations.

Each of the eight (8) core modules contains introductory and background material, questions for discussion and a bibliography. A glossary is also provided.

The modules were written by Jason Borenstein, PhD, formerly of the University of Miami and now in the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The modules were edited by David Miller, PhD, formerly of Florida Atlantic University. Please send comments, corrections and suggestions to Ken Goodman.