Ageing, Ageism and the Law
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Ageing, Ageism and the Law

European Perspectives on the Rights of Older Persons

Edited by Israel Doron and Nena Georgantzi

Europe is ageing. However, in many European countries, and in almost all fields of life, older persons experience discrimination, social exclusion, and negative stereotypes that portray them as different or a burden to society. This pivotal book is the first of its kind, providing a rich and diverse analysis of the inter-relationships between ageing, ageism and law within Europe.
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Chapter 3: Ageism, moral agency and autonomy: getting beyond guardianship in the 21st century

Gerard Quinn, Ayelet Gur and Joanne Watson


This chapter explores the need to move away from protectionist measures such as guardianship toward a new policy of supporting older persons to remain in control of their own lives. It looks to the hard sciences to appreciate the new techniques of discovery that are emerging. It takes seriously the idea of shared personhood. One need not communicate formally to be taken seriously as a person. The chapter looks to theories of social capital that emphasize the quality of the social connectors in our lives to maintain autonomy and suggests a law reform agenda that treats the maintenance of autonomy in old age much more seriously than in the past.

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