By Mike Brogden

The more and more aged inhabitants poses many monetary and moral questions for contemporary society. the most topical and debatable is the talk approximately euthanasia. Drawing on various historic, modern, anthropological and literary resources, this paintings considers the current day debates concerning the sanctity of aged lives and the query of euthanasia. It indicates that killing the aged, voluntarily or involuntarily, has been a function of many societies - from the primitive to the current day. aged murder and euthanasia this present day are most ordinarily hid in the house or the care establishment, a scenario that is attracting expanding specialist main issue. this article seeks to put the present debate in a much wider historic and social context, whereas supplying an summary of present educational issues.

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Extra info for Geronticide: Killing the Elderly

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7 people of working age (20–64 years) to each person aged 65 and over. 1. This will be offset, but only partly, by a fall in the numbers of people below working age (Age Concern 1997). In the United States in 1990 there were 20 elderly persons for every 100 of working age. But by the year 2025, there will be 32 elderly persons for every 100 of working age (US Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics 2000). The dramatic change is not just in the overall ratio but in the balance between the so-called dependent groups within it.

Of those, 70 per cent rely solely on informal caregivers such as spouses and children. Nearly one-third of informal care providers are daughters. As the demands of an ageing parent increase, a daughter’s career and lifestyle are likely to suffer. Providing ten or more hours of care per week to a non-resident parent reduces a daughter’s waged work by 65 hours during an 18-week period. But a daughter will reduce her full-time work outside the home by 130 hours during the same period to care for a disabled parent who lives with her (Carers’ National Association (1998)).

More than a quarter of all patients in daily pain did not receive any pain-killing agents. The researchers noted a strong correlation DEATH BY DEMOGRAPHY AND LONGEVITY / 47 between the presence of pain and increasing age. Financial issues were unlikely to have played a part because all the patients in the sample had health cover – ageist ideology was the problem. In part a function of lack of reporting by the elderly, the medical response to pain also demonstrates age discrimination in its relief.

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