It is not clear to read so I'll repeat a few of the more significant sentences.
* Dr. McKay said men over 75 had one of the highest age specific suicide rates in the country.
* Dr. MacKay said anxiety and depression could be successfully treated, but this meant access to appropriate mental care, which was often not available for older people.
* Professor Alemida's research, which surveyed 21,290 people aged 60 to 101, found almost 5 per cent acknowledged the presence of suicidal thoughts.
And then the article talks about various strategies to reduce the incidence of suicide, such as 'facilitating the development of supportive and meaningful social networks.'
Throughout the article, it assumed that thoughts of suicide are irrational and the result of a sick mind. Nowhere is it acknowledged that when life becomes a tedious and painful chore, it could be far better to die.
This - * Professor Alemida's research, which surveyed 21,290 people aged 60 to 101, found almost 5 per cent acknowledged the presence of suicidal thoughts.
Probably, far more than 5% had considered suicide as an option when the time came, but by the time a person is 60, they know perfectly well that admitting to 'suicidal thoughts' would be taken as a sign of mental illness rather than a rational response to the circumstances.
I very well remember being in a Nursing Home visiting a resident, and seeing a young nurse trying to tell a tiny, skinny, bent old lady that she should stand by herself because she was pregnant and trying to lift her might harm the baby. The old lady was pretty deaf as well as everything else, and I do hope that she did not get the message that she should be feeling guilty. That poor old girl might have weighed something around 6 stone - not very much. Most of us are a lot more substantial. What a horrible thought that we can be abused because we can't do enough for ourselves. Yes, death is better than that.
But what if the nurses are really, really nice? What if the nursing home residents only know kindness?
What if you can't see very well, can't read at all, can't hear very well, can't keep yourself clean, can't walk, dribble when eating - the home can be the best in the world, but old, old age is crippling, humiliating and usually painful. And by the time anyone reaches that stage, it is past the time when they can organise their own suicide.
Being dead is a lot better than being like that. In the current legal climate, the choice is to take your own life while you can, and there are still some things to be enjoyed, or leave it too late and die a miserable, protracted death.
My deepest wish is that by the time I am in those circumstances, I can organise a kind and gentle death for myself without getting anyone else into trouble. Our dogs and cats have that. Why can't we?
I do not dread death. It is nothing - just the end of life. I do dread the helplessness of extreme old age. Being able to end life when I choose - why, then there would be nothing to dread about old age.
Euthanasia. It should be free, easily accessable, and, of course, legal. In surveys, there is a consistent result of around 80% in favour. Why then, can we not have it? It is needed. It may be suicide, but it is not the result of depression and mental illness, it is a rational and reasoned response to circumstances.