A Debate Over ‘Rational Suicide’

Article by Paula Span (The New York Times, August 31, 2018)

The article provides a balanced survey of the “complex web of conditions contributing to late-life suicide, including physical illness and functional decline, personality traits and coping styles, and social disconnection.” In one corner is all the weight of societal and medical presumption that suicide is always a rash and tragic choice. In the other is Robert Shoots, a bottle of Wild Turkey, and his beloved old Chrysler.

The New Old Age

Common Sense Suicide: The Final Right

Book by Doris Portwood (1978, 1983)

This no-nonsense book, pioneering, yet remarkably current, argues that the elderly in poor health have many perfectly good reasons they might choose to kill themselves, as the author herself eventually did. There is nothing squeamish about Portwood’s refreshingly up-front approach. Fortunately, much better how-to information is available now than when she was writing.

Available from used book dealers such as AbeBooks.com.