The Gerontologist, Vol 34, Issue 3 393-398, Copyright © 1994 by The Gerontological Society of America
Setting limits: a response
Hastings Center, Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510.
Setting Limits: Medical Goals in an Aging Society was published in 1987,
and immediately incurred considerable criticism because of its contention
that age-based health care rationing could become necessary in the future
as the baby boom generation aged and retired. That argument was considered
to be ageist, discriminatory, and dangerous, and the ensuing debate
generated a large number of books and articles. A response is offered to
the criticisms, suggesting that we will not be able to evade the problem as
easily as some critics have proposed, and that an age-limit proposal should
be compared with other unpleasant choices, not with an ideal world.