The Gerontologist, Vol 33, Issue 3 359-365, Copyright © 1993 by The Gerontological Society of America
A review and new look at ethical suicide in advanced age
Department of Psychology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106.
Suicide is common in old age, but public opinion remains negative.
Following a review of theories of suicide and a summary of arguments
against suicide, this essay constructs an argument for why the elderly have
a unique claim to an ethical, unobstructed suicide. That claim rests on
their "developmental autonomy," based on the experience and wisdom of the