The SAGE Handbook of Healthcare Ethics is an influential collection of work by leading scholars on the fundamental and emerging themes which define healthcare ethics. This authoritative Handbook brings together experts with backgrounds in philosophy, sociology, law, public policy and the health professions and reflects the increasing impact of globalization and the dynamic advances in the fields of bioscience and genetics, which keep ethics at the centre of debates about the future direction of healthcare. Combining international and interdisciplinary perspectives, the Handbook provides a cutting-edge account of debates in five key areas: Health Care Ethics in an Era of Globalization; Beginning and End of Life; Vulnerable Populations; Research Ethics and Technologies; Public Health and Human Rights

Ethics of Care

Ethics of care

Introduction

Since the beginning of the twentieth century average life expectancy has risen significantly in the industrialised world. While average life expectancy in 1900 was approximately 50 years, average life expectancy for the countries of the European Union is presently 78 years, 75 years for men and 81 for women. The rise in average life expectancy is for the greater part the result of improvement in living conditions, food habits and hygiene, as well as the success of modern medicine in fighting diseases, particularly infectious diseases.

However, the increase in life expectancy comes with a price: on the one hand individuals can enjoy a longer life, but on the other hand they have an increased chance of being confronted with a long ...

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