What makes a good life in late life?

23 October 2018

MICRA's Professor Chris Phillipson and Hallsworth Visiting Professor Amanda Grenier contribute to a new report from the Hastings Center.

The Hastings Center have released a report featuring 16 essays by leading scholars examining how bioethics can better reflect and meet the needs of an ageing society. The report, entitled ‘What Makes a Good Life in Late Life? Citizenship and Justice in Ageing Societies’ features the findings of Professor Chris Phillipson and Professor Amanda Grenier (Professor in the Department of Health, Aging and Society at McMaster University) in "Precarious aging: Insecurity and Risk in Late Life"

The report introduction encourages bioethics to look towards social justice for an ageing population, aiming to articulate “a concept of good citizenship in an aging society that goes beyond health care relationships”.  It looks at the concept of “precarity” as a conceptual framework to be considered by those applying bioethics to social justice problems in ageing societies. 

In their essay, Professor Chris Phillipson and Amanda Grenier “use the concept of precarity as a lens to understand new and sustained forms of insecurity that affect late life, and illustrate how these risks, when experienced over time and in relation to conditions such as austerity, can deepen disadvantage.”

Their essay also uses homelessness as a case illustration of inequality in later life – a topic which features heavily in the research of Professor Amanda Grenier, and which she spoke about earlier this year in a seminar when she visited MICRA

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