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The Dignity of the Old (Profielcursus ‘Ethics of Dignity’, PThU, Engelstalig)

Prof. Frits de Lange


The prospect of living a dignified old age, and of caring in a dignified manner for elderly contributes to the good life. However, dignity is an elusive concept. What does dignity mean and imply for the position of elderly in our communities? The concept of dignity contains several layers: it refers at least to societal status, self-respect, and recognition. All of these aspects will be analyzed and their impact on elderly will be measured.

Living a life in dignity is one thing. Another is: dying with dignity. This course will also deal with the ethical implications of the increase in life expectancy, in particular with end of life decisions in advanced old age


  • Deeper understanding of the societal impact of global aging and the importance of ethical reflection on it;
  • Knowledge and insights in basic ethical theories on dignity and human rights;
  • Knowledge and insights in basic gerontological theory;
  • In-depth knowledge of an ethics of aging from a theological perspective;
  • Skills in critically analyzing social discourses on elderly from the point of view of an ethics of human dignity;
  • Ability to apply this ethics in social practices of care for the elderly.

Deze cursus is onderdeel van de PAO-opleiding Geestelijke verzorging.