Old Age and Its Issues Essay

Pages: 3 (1031 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Death and Dying  (general)

Old Age and Related Issues

Unlike other forms of disability or infirmity, old age is something that will affect all human beings, unless they die before reaching a high number of years. It is therefore vital to think carefully about issues that affect older people today, since these are issues that will affect us when we grow older ourselves. Many of these issues are of a practical nature, regarding what sort of care we will prefer when we become too old to care for ourselves. However, what is especially important to consider is the fact that many of these issues also have a moral or ethical component. Age-related factors that might include a moral component include issues such as the anti-aging agenda, the way in which old age care is given and received, and elder abuse.

The anti-aging agenda involves medications and developments that focus on relieving or removing the symptoms of old age, effectively prolonging life and creating an increasingly aging society. Proponents of this agenda name advantages such as relieving suffering, promoting health, and serving economic efficiency (Holstein, Parks, and Waymack, 2011, p. 94). Although these are in themselves laudible goals in terms of serving humanity, the ethical difficulties by extending life artificially are undeniable.

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Many take the religious argument, for example, that extending life by means of medical science is like "playing God." This argument is, however, difficult in the light of even generally accepted medical practice. Even something as simple as a cold and flu remedy can constitute the artificial extension of life, since this remedy is meant to promote health and, ultimately, the prevention of flu becoming something more serious such as pneumonia or other types of lung infection, which could result in death.

Yet, anti-aging technology and medicine seem to be an agenda that is so extreme that it interferes with the natural and even God-given premises of life itself. Hence there is a basic moral dichotomy between whether to allow the use of anti-aging technology in the service of humanity or to simply let "God" play his role, or indeed to let life take its natural course.

TOPIC: Essay on Old Age and Its Issues Assignment

There is also a socially ethical argument from both perspectives. Anti-aging technology allows for older persons to function effectively for longer. As such, these people can contribute to the economy for a longer time. However, this could create practical difficulties at workplaces where there is a forced retirement age. These workplaces function under the obligation to find young workers for the development of innovative ideas, where older workers may no longer be able to supply these in a practical sense. Older workers who are forced to retire, however, then becomes a burden on the economy in terms of health care, pension, and other forms of social aid, rather than continuing their contribution to it. This, in turn, could lead to further challenges such as agism.

The giving and receiving of care in old age is an ethical and moral concern that relates to the ability of older people to maintain a sense of well-being even at a time when they are… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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