Elderly suicide rates sound alarm
Anyone who has has to read posts on here for a while has had to listen to my dire prediction that the baby boomer generation will find a silver bullet solution to their retirement problems by literally applying a bullet, silver or any other material, as part of their solution.
This article makes note of the current trend and who is most likely to participate in it, (white males) but also happens to bounce it against the assisted suicide debate.
One of the predictions, certainly, is that this increasingly large cohort, as it reaches older adulthood, will tax the system, leaving more people in distress without enough geriatricians and mental health professionals," said John McIntosh, associate dean of psychology at Indiana University and author of "Suicide and the Older Adult."
"If, on top of what's already the highest risk group, you put gas on the fire, the expectation is it's going to be astronomical."
The concerns are expressed best with this quote.
Opponents say the proposed law amounts to a state endorsement that could ripple far beyond those who seek a doctor's help, even encouraging suicide.
"There's an atmosphere that legitimizes and facilitates people taking their lives. People who take their lives through this kind of system are being told, 'Yeah, we think it's a good thing. We think you would be better off,'" said Paul Longmore, director of the Institute on Disability Studies at San Francisco State.
"I think our society has given lots of people the message, 'We don't want you to burden us. We want to be rid of the burden of you.' And people internalize that," he said
Longmore noted that suicide victims, with terminal illnesses or not, often experienced depression that is treatable.
This message, that people that are unwanted, that might be burdens, and that we should make choices that eliminate those burdens has been made true with children via abortion. Some folks like myself hold that making a child a choice has had a ripple effect on funding, programs and resources devoted towards children.
I am willing to suggest that the ripple effect discussed here isn't just a bad bit of slippery-slope reasoning. Obviously becoming elderly isn't a choice, but with assisted suicide, consuming what one feels might be disproportionate resources that might be better devoted towards the young, being a burden on family members, or losing ones ability to live independently could be thought of as a choice. Some folks make it now regardless of the fact that it is considered an illegal act. If legalized, many more might undertake that choice as well.
What do you think?