The Need For Jurisprudential Gerontology

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


This presentation is about trying to answer questions. These questions were well introduced by Prof. Margaret Hall: “The fundamental idea of “law and aging” as a discrete category of legal principle and theory is controversial: how and why are “older adults” or “seniors” or “elders” (the very terminology is controversial and fraught with difficulties) a discrete and distinct group for whom “special” legal thought and treatment is justified? For some, a category of law and aging is inherently paternalistic, suggesting that older persons are, like children, especially in need of the protection of the law. The essential question underlying any theory of law and aging is, therefore, this question of conceptual distinction. What special feature and characteristics of “older adults” justify and even require a particular theoretical approach? Is it possible to formulate legitimate generalizations about a group identified as “older adults,” while avoiding the harmful stereotypes of ageism? And what if anything is gained by that approach?” This presentation will argue that we need theory in order to systematize what we know, to conceptualize the “how” and the “why” behind the “what” that we are doing. Without a theoretical framework, we cannot justify the existence of elder law as a distinct field within law. Theory provides us with the necessary intellectual tool to evaluate and put to a test what we are doing. More specifically, this presentation will present one theoretical perspective on elder law: the “multi-dimensional model of elder law.” This is a pluralistic model which argues that the only way to fully grasp the richness and diversity of elder law, is through a multidimensional model, which connects different functions and targets that law wishes to achieve.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S25-S26
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue numberSupplement 1
StatePublished - Jun 2009


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