In Secret, Seniors Discuss ‘Rational Suicide’

June 25, 2019

(Kaiser Health News) – A Kaiser Health News investigation in April found that older Americans — a few hundred per year, at least — are killing themselves while living in or transitioning to long-term care. Many cases KHN reviewed involved depression or mental illness. What’s not clear is how many of these suicides involve clear-minded people exercising what Davis would call a rational choice. Suicide prevention experts contend that while it’s normal to think about death as we age, suicidal ideation is a sign that people need help. They argue that all suicides should be avoided by addressing mental health and helping seniors live a rich and fulfilling life. But to Lois, the 86-year-old woman who organized the meeting outside Philadelphia, suicides by older Americans are not all tragedies.

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