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Long-term Care, Globalization, and Justice

, 168 pages
April 2012



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Long-term Care, Globalization, and Justice

Long-term care can be vexing on a personal as well as social level, and it will only grow more so as individuals continue to live longer and the population of aged persons increases in the United States and around the world. This volume explores the ethical issues surrounding elder care from an ecological perspective to propose a new theory of global justice for long-term care.

Care work is organized not just nationally, as much current debate suggests, but also transnationally, through economic, labor, immigration, and health policies established by governments, international lending bodies, and for-profit entities. Taking an epistemological approach termed "ecological knowing," Lisa A. Eckenwiler examines this organizational structure to show how it creates and sustains injustice against the dependent elderly and those who care for them, including a growing number of migrant care workers, and how it weakens the capacities of so-called source countries and their health care systems. By focusing on the fact that a range of policies, people, and places are interrelated and mutually dependent, Eckenwiler is able not only to provide a holistic understanding of the way long-term care works to generate injustice but also to find ethical and practicable policy solutions for caring for aging populations in the United States and in less well-off parts of the world.

Deeply considered and empirically informed, this examination of the troubles in transnational long-term care is the first to probe the issue from a perspective that reckons with the interdependence of policies, people, and places, and the first to recommend ways policymakers, planners, and families can together develop cohesive, coherent long-term care policies around the ideal of justice.

Lisa A. Eckenwiler is an associate professor of philosophy and health administration and policy and director of health care ethics at George Mason University. She is coeditor of The Ethics of Bioethics: Mapping the Moral Landscape, also published by Johns Hopkins.

"Eckenwiler argues for ethical and ecological thinking about transnational long-term care in this brief collection of her essays."

"A formidable amount of information is included, and the call for policies that can facilitate provision of quality long-term care that is just and equitable for less affluent as well as more affluent countries is a welcome addition to the literature on this topic."

" [Long-term Care, Globalization, and Justice] provides a valuable function in highlighting an important issue and provoking readers to appreciate its complexity and the moral issues raised."

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