Humans have long been troubled by the prospect of old age and its culmination in death. Whether to rebel against or accept this fate have been wrestled with down through the centuries. But new medical technologies and the growing science of aging have sided with rebellion. We know that aging can be pushed back and improved in its quality. That progress is well under way, but now intensified by many scientists and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. In 2016, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla (...) Chan pledged three billion dollars toward eventually “preventing, curing or managing all diseases.” And some visionaries have made the elimination of death or its indefinite postponement a goal. To put those aspirations in a broader context, it is helpful to keep in mind where population growth and aging trends stand. Apart from any success in the explicit efforts to increase longevity, there will be a steady increase in the number of elderly worldwide—and a much higher percentage of the elderly as part of the overall population. Most of the largest changes will be in developing countries. They will be overburdened by the death of the elderly from expensive chronic diseases—already a vexing problem for affluent countries. (shrink)
A psychoanalyst, a professor of comparative literature, a social historian, and the director of the New York Civil Liberties Union analyze and criticize social-policy responses to the needs of such dependent individuals as the handicapped, children, and t.
1 This book is the product of a one-year project conducted by the Hastings Center, Institute of Society, Ethics and the Life Sciences, during 1976-1977. The Behavior Control Research Group-an ongoing, interdisciplinary working group com posed of philosophers, psychiatrists, psychologists, social sci entists, and lawyers-met four times over the course of the year with special consultants with expertise in the field of mental retardation. At those meetings, participants gave in formal presentations, which were followed by group discus sion. As the (...) project progressed, formal papers were delivered and subjected to further critical commentary. This volume, in two related parts, represents the deliberations of the group as a whole, and then offers individual papers prepared by some scholars in order to give a sense of the kind of specific arguments on which the general conclusions were based. We undertook the project to examine: (1) questions of competence and consent; and (2) the practical implications, lThe project, entitled "Ethical Issues in the Care and Treatment of the Mildly Mentally Retarded," was supported by the EVI5T program of the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 05576-14793. Any Opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. ix x PREFACE in terms of care and treatment, that evolve from differing definitions and models applied to mental retardation. (shrink)
Explores humanity's biological roots and astounding capacity for self-creation and self-alteration, examining freedom and choice, sexuality and love, conscience and justice, work and pleasure, and other issues.