In the past, the law has not been considered as an important part of gerontological science. Historically, different sciences such as medicine, biology, psychology, and sociology have played far more important roles in the creation and crystallization of gerontological knowledge. This state of affairs is reflected in academic education and field research, which ascribes little weight to legal aspects of aging. This article maintains that the time is ripe for gerontological education to recognize the importance of exposing students of gerontology in academic institutions to the study and research of law and ageing. Though this claim could be defended on the simple ground that the law is no different, in principle, from a wide range of other scientific disciplines - each of which makes a particular contribution to gerontology - in this article we shall go one step further. This article attempts to demonstrate special elements which make it particularly important to add the study of legal matters to the curriculum of gerontological education. They are the result of 5 aspects of the encounter between the law and old age: (a) the law as a tool for sociological research; (b) the law as a tool for social change; (c) the law as a tool for planning and undertaking care of the old; (d) the weaknesses of the legal discipline in the field of law and aging; and (e) the potential value of legal education for the practice of gerontology, and collaboration between gerontologists and lawyers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology