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Older People and Driving: the Need for a Welfare Perspective

Older People and Driving: the Need for a Welfare Perspective Decisions on older people’s fitness to drive an automobile are in many cases evaluative and normative. These challenging decisions need to be made at both policy and individual levels. With an ageing population, it is important that this decision-making about older drivers is appropriate and fair, but little work has examined the ethical values that should inform our approach to this issue. This essay concerns the ethical values and framework around older people and driving. I argue that decision-making about older drivers should include a consideration of older people’s mobility and the promotion of individual welfare. Drawing on empirical insights and ethical theory, this essay firstly argues that a traditional safety-focused perspective on older drivers is potentially deficient, misleading, and detrimental, and should be rethought. Secondly, it is shown that driving is both instrumentally and essentially linked to older people’s welfare. Decision-making should therefore include an ethical principle of beneficence. And thirdly, it is argued that a consideration of individual welfare in decisions about older drivers is vital to address important societal trends. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Bioethics Review Springer Journals

Older People and Driving: the Need for a Welfare Perspective

Asian Bioethics Review , Volume 9 (2) – Jun 23, 2017

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by National University of Singapore and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
Subject
Philosophy; Bioethics; Ethics; Medical Law; Public Health; Biomedicine, general; Health Administration
ISSN
1793-8759
eISSN
1793-9453
DOI
10.1007/s41649-017-0002-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Decisions on older people’s fitness to drive an automobile are in many cases evaluative and normative. These challenging decisions need to be made at both policy and individual levels. With an ageing population, it is important that this decision-making about older drivers is appropriate and fair, but little work has examined the ethical values that should inform our approach to this issue. This essay concerns the ethical values and framework around older people and driving. I argue that decision-making about older drivers should include a consideration of older people’s mobility and the promotion of individual welfare. Drawing on empirical insights and ethical theory, this essay firstly argues that a traditional safety-focused perspective on older drivers is potentially deficient, misleading, and detrimental, and should be rethought. Secondly, it is shown that driving is both instrumentally and essentially linked to older people’s welfare. Decision-making should therefore include an ethical principle of beneficence. And thirdly, it is argued that a consideration of individual welfare in decisions about older drivers is vital to address important societal trends.

Journal

Asian Bioethics ReviewSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 23, 2017

References