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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

Prestigious lecture on 'the most urgent human rights issue of the modern era'

Updated: May 20, 2021

Over the years many eminent speakers have been invited to give the annual Malcolm Goldsmith Lecture in memory of priest, pioneering writer on dementia and founder of the charity Faith in Older People (FiOP), the late Revd Malcolm Goldsmith.

'The challenge for older people is to make sense of life at a stage when loss and change

occur more frequently and perhaps more painfully.' Malcolm Goldsmith, founder of Faith in Older People

Dr Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive Officer, Scottish Care

This year the honour fell to Dr Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive Officer of Scottish Care, the representative body for independent social care, who chose 'The fullness of humanity: human rights and spirituality', as his subject.

Dr Macaskill described the treatment of older people in the light of what has happened during the pandemic – with a disproportionate number of older people harmed – as 'the most urgent human rights issue of the modern era'.

Painting a picture of what he called 'a systemic lack of valuing of those who are old in chronological years', Dr Macaskill argued: 'There has never been more need for a robust spirituality of ageing which values life and contribution, capacity and giftedness regardless of age; which sees community as the knitting together of diverse lives and which asserts that excluding some limits and devalues the whole. This is a human rights task – this is as urgent a human rights issue as any other but is receiving so little focus and attention.'

You may read his full lecture here.

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