February 17, 2006

Cast Me Not Off in Old Metaphors

This is a thoughtful piece on the challenges of aging. Kass and Cohen join a chorus of others on the left and the right in bemoaning both technological optimism when it comes to aging and the utility of the living will for resolving all our woes about old age. But their conclusion is less than satisfying--returning old age to the bosom of the family. The family they seek to muster has long since divided, divorced, moved, remarried and transformed. A reliance on the nuclear family and in particular devoted female members to tend to the elder seems as implausibly optimistic as thinking that a pill will fix all that will ail us as we age.
- Art Caplan

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