Equity Matters: Doing Fairness in the Context of Family Caregiving
Canadian journal on aging = La revue canadienne du vieillissement 2007; 26 Suppl 1: 91-102
Although family scholars conceptualize caregiving in terms of networks of carers, little attention has been given to equity within these groups. Siblings comprise a prevalent caregiving network of members who feel responsible for parent care, expect to share these responsibilities with each other, and look to each other to evaluate the fairness of their sharing. In this paper, a multidisciplinary approach is used to examine sibling views of equity in relation to disputes over giving parent care and receiving parent assets. A literary perspective is offered through analysis of stepsibling tensions depicted in the novel Family Matters. Real life disputes among biological siblings that have been pursued through the courts are also examined. Issues arising from these examples are then analysed through the lens of legal doctrines of equity. Siblings evaluating fairness undertake careful comparisons of their respective relationships with parents in terms of biological links to parents and type and extent of influence in interactions with parents.
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