Good old days?

Life expectancy in the developed world has nearly doubled in the past century. By 2010 one-third of all Americans will be between the ages of 50 and 80. This phenomenon has raised a new set of questions. Should old age, like childhood, be regarded as a separate stage of life, one offering a distinct set of problems and requiring a distinct set of virtues? Are the added years a burden or a gift? What share of our medical resources should go to the elderly? Is old age a period of inexorable decline or of spiritual growth? Most reflection on these questions has been done by secular thinkers, but some work is beginning to be done in theological circles.


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