European Perspectives on the Rights of Older Persons
Edited by Israel Doron and Nena Georgantzi
Chapter 3: Ageism, moral agency and autonomy: getting beyond guardianship in the 21st century
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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