Author(s): Van Den Heuvel WJ
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Abstract The Ageing of societies is a unique historical development of mankind. Today, such ageing is recognized as a threat for developed societies. There is fear of increasing inequality in health and in access to health care. Apart from the costs of ageing and care, such fear creates intergenerational conflicts. This paper explores what values are at stake when a society ages. At issue here is the social position of the old citizens and the way in which they are regarded by their fellow citizens. Findings indicate the need to contemplate the consequences of ageing for societies and to discuss the impact these have for the values dominating contemporary post-welfare states. European welfare states were based on a balanced combination of three values: freedom, equality, and solidarity. Because these values are misbalanced now, equal accessibility of care and conditions for social participation are disappearing. Therefore, we shall have to think about new ways in which our societies can reaffirm basic human values. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy Inc. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
This article was published in J Med Philos
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research