What Setting Limits May Mean A Feminist Critique of Daniel Callahan's Setting Limits

Hypatia 4 (2):169-178 (1989)
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In Setting Limits, Daniel Callahan advances the provocative thesis that age be a limiting factor in decisions to allocate certain kinds of health services to the elderly. However, when one looks at available data, one discovers that there are many more elderly women than there are elderly men, and these older women are poorer, more apt to live alone, and less likely to have informal social and personal supports than their male counterparts. Older women, therefore, will make the heaviest demand on health care resources. If age were to become a limiting factor, as Dr. Callahan sug-gests it should, the limits that will be set are limits that will affect women more dras” tically than they affect men. This review essay examines the implications of Callahan's thesis for elderly women.



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