The Hastings Center is pleased to launch Over 65, its newest blog by and for seniors seeking solutions for health care and security. Medicare, social security and intergenerational equity are critical bioethics issues, and particularly newsworthy during the current election season. What’s often missing from the debate are the voices of the senior citizens dependent on these services—and yet concerned at how to fund them in a sustainable fashion. That’s why Daniel Callahan, Hastings Center co-founder and President Emeritus; Sherwin Nuland, Hastings Center Fellow and Professor of Surgery Emeritus at
the Yale School of Medicine; and James Sabin, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School joined with Hastings Public Affairs and Communication Department to launch a new blog by and for seniors. An impressive list of supporters signed on, among them a former university president, a Nobel laureate, two MacArthur Fellows, and numerous professors emeriti.
As the organizers of the project write: “The demands of our aging society, medically and economically, pose unprecedented problems. They require reform of the health care system and of policies and practices that impact our economic security. They no less require a rethinking of the progress-driven, technology-hungry model of medicine that feeds that system and consumes a large share of resources. That model has put an unbridled pursuit of cure, not care, in the saddle, a balance that must now shift to a better balance in the direction of care. It has made end-of-life decisions more difficult, blurring the line between living and dying and offering seductive hope that death can be indefinitely overcome. The latter is both damagingly expensive and often an affront to human dignity and a peaceful death.
The present over 65 generation, as well as the aging baby boomers, will be caught in the throes of the necessary revolution. They need a strong voice. Their own welfare is at stake, and their wisdom and insight are necessary for the good of all.”
The project has five goals: a stronger role for seniors; self-determination; more care, less technology; confronting the cost problem, and the economic and family needs of the over-65 generation. It aims to begin with a blog and develop into a full research project. To start, Jim Sabin compares approaches to intergenerational equity in Japan and the United States, and Carol Levine ponders what older people ought to expect from their grown children. To register for updates—or submit a post—please contact Mary Crowley, Hastings Director of Public Affairs and Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org.