ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Ageism and the Rights of Older People

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I agree with Pyali Chatterjee’s objection to the prevalent discriminatory attitudes and practices against older people, which often result in “geronticide” (“Ageism and Resurging COVID-19 Cases,” EPW, 20 January 2024). The Darwinian theory of “survival of the fittest” is being extended by the state and society in their treatment of the elderly people as useless animals to be disposed of.

But let me, as an octogenarian, raise an issue from an alternative viewpoint. There may be some older people who would prefer “geronticide” instead of living as invalids depending on others at the cost of their self-respect. Should they not be given the right to choose euthanasia and donate their organs for medical purposes?

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