Ethical Imperatives for Intervention with Elder Families

Loretta J. Bradley, Peggy P. Whiting, Bret Hendricks, Laura S. Wheat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This article discusses the ethical dilemmas common to counseling practice with elder families and describes virtue ethics, rule ethics, and principle ethics in their application to the unique challenges of the life stage of diverse adults 60 years and older. The Five P Model of Ethical Decision Making of Gamino and Ritter is examined as a process for conceptualizing the ethics of care in complex situations like those of elder families. The authors challenge family counselors to expand their gerontological knowledge, including that of end-of-life care and bereavement, and to use a developmental lens when taking perspective on issues of aging clients and their families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-221
Number of pages7
JournalThe Family Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • bereavement
  • elder families
  • ethical decision making
  • ethical imperatives


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