In the United States, Medicare and Medicaid are helping fund the cost of caring for the elderly. However, long before these programs existed, several states enacted statutes requiring children to care for their elderly parents. These filial responsibility statutes still exist in many states today, although their effectiveness and use has been called into question by opponents. To understand the current need for these statutes, this article first looks at the reasons the statutes were created. The article then follows their growth throughout the history of the world and the United States. As further means of comparison, the article examines the view of other cultures and nations with regard to filial responsibility and the decisions to implement laws that require children to help shoulder the responsibility of caring for their older parents.

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Elder Law Commons