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Phoebe Weaver Williams, Age Discrimination in the Delivery of Health Care Services to Our Elders, 11 Marq. Elder’s Advisor 1 (2009)

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11 Marquette Elder's Advisor 1 (2009)


The problem of health care providers making age biased decisions when treating elderly patients has received considerable attention and condemnation from both medical and social science researchers. When health care providers offer inappropriate or less care to patients because of their advanced chronological age, they potentially violate the Age Act of 1975. However, a review of the cases litigated under the Age Act suggests that advocates, regulators, and elders have not used the Age Act to address even the most blatant ageist practices in health care. Using methods developed to identify unlawful discrimination under employment and civil rights laws, this article characterizes certain ageist practices in the delivery of healthcare as potential violations of the Age Act of 1975. It concludes that regulators should undertake certain reforms so that elderly patients and their advocates can make better use of the Age Act’s protections.

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