Down Syndrome and Alzheimer Disease: Defining a New Ethical Horizon in Dual Diagnosis

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Abstract

Within the context of our demographic transition to an aging society, special emphasis must be placed on the somewhat hidden topic of cognitive developmental disabilities and Alzheimer's disease (AD). This article focuses on end-of-life issues and the phenomenology of caring, although not at the expense of broader concerns. Drawing on the work of Jean Vanier, Tom Kitwood, and others, foundational continuities between caring for persons with retardation and persons with irreversible progressive dementia are articulated.

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