Views & Reviews Medical Classics

The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 17 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4856
  1. Mairead Bartley, research fellow, Centre for Ageing Neuroscience and the Humanities, Trinity College, Dublin
  1. mbartle{at}

    Until this pioneering book was published in 1995 the ethical aspects of one of the most important illnesses of our ageing populations were a neglected subject. Post begins with his wish to define the “signposts” that would point human beings “toward a future in which those who are so forgetful will be treated with dignity.” He describes as twofold the moral challenge of Alzheimer’s disease: the challenge of overcoming the stigma; and that of giving careful consideration to the ethical issues, such as the appropriateness of certain medical procedures.

    Explanations of existing legal or medical guidelines are …

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