Justice, health care, and the elderly

Philos Public Aff. 1989 Summer;18(3):297-312.


KIE: Concern over rising health costs in the United States has led to an intensifying policy debate over health care for the elderly and a rethinking of questions on intergenerational justice and the claims of the aged on social resources. Major contributions to this debate have been made by Daniel Callahan in his Setting Limits (Simon & Schuster; 1987) and by Norman Daniels in his Am I My Parents' Keeper? (Oxford University Press; 1988). Brock reviews Callahan's and Daniels' work, identifying the central focus of both as the age-group problem of resource allocation. He sees Callahan as calling upon a communitarian political philosophy and Daniels as arguing from a tradition of political liberalism. While disagreeing in part with both authors, Brock identifies compatible elements in their arguments that contribute significantly to the public debate over health care and the aged.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged*
  • Attitude
  • Biomedical Technology
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Economics
  • Euthanasia, Passive
  • Family
  • Goals
  • Health Care Rationing*
  • Human Rights*
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy
  • Moral Obligations
  • Patient Care
  • Patient Selection*
  • Public Policy*
  • Resource Allocation*
  • Social Justice*
  • Social Responsibility*
  • Social Values
  • Social Welfare
  • United States