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Increasingly, legislators at the state and federal levels of government are forced to evaluate and act upon the unique problems presented by an aging American public. A domino effect has occurred, evoking concern in educational circles to deal with the varied, complex issues associated with the ""new"" gerontology. This expanded focus brings in not only mental and public health delivery issues, but reaches and impacts on the social sciences, ethics, law and medicine as well as public policy.;In response to these matters, this new text provides a balanced analytical presentation of the complicated socio-legal, medico-ethical and political perspectives which interact with gerontology as a field of study. In a straightforward and unambiguous style, it covers information on access and financing healthcare, the ethics of rationing healthcare and the inevitable link to the quality of life, guardianship issues in a nursing home setting, informed consent, living wills and durable powers of attorney, elder abuse, and death with dignity.;The economics of care giving is charted and directed by the sometimes harsh realities of the marketplace. Thus, the various philosophical and ethical dilemmas which confront the process of aging are examined here both from a micro- and from a macro-economic perspective. This book exemplifies that it is vitally important to be educated now, to be prepared for the future and thereby make informed decisions - for both ourselves and our loved ones.