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January 2022

Ethical issues in ageing and biography

Journal/Book: Ageing Soc. 1996; 16: 40 West 20TH Street, New York, NY 10011-4211. Cambridge Univ Press. 659-675.

Abstract: The increasing use of biographical materials in research and intervention in the field of ageing gives rise to significant ethical issues. In this inquiry, four of these issues are explicated. First, the notion of informed consent is explored in relation to selected contexts of research and intervention in ageing and biography. Second, the issues of autonomy and competence are considered from the point of view of identifying contexts where biography is a prerequisite for ethically responsive action. The third ethical issue concerns respecting the groundrules of various biographical approaches. Finally, the notions of authenticity and truth in lifestories are explored in an attempt to clarify the limitations and expectations of ageing and biography. The discussion of these ethical issues proceeds on the basis of an argument that indicates the fundamental importance of biographical ageing or the stories we are.

Note: Article Kenyon GM, St Thomas Univ, Fredericton, NB E3B 5G3, CANADA

Keyword(s): ethics; competence; biographical encounter; biographical ageing; negotiated consent; acceptance; story-listening; LIFE; AUTONOMY


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