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Older People Want to Die

Like decision making, this is another stereotype that can't be easily labeled true or false. Older adults are more accepting of death when they feel some sense of control over it. Generally, they want to ensure a "happy" death in a comforting environment, knowing that they're loved and free of unnecessary pain. To one person, that's achieved by making out a living will that specifies the type end-of-life medical treatment he wants. To another, that peace of mind comes from having the option of physician-assisted suicide. But it wouldn't be fair to say that either person wants to die.

To complicate matters, impressions can be deceiving. For instance, older people may talk more about dying as it becomes more and more a reality. Also, grief and depression caused by chronic illness or the loss a spouse can certainly make death seem more welcome. It's the threat of the psychologist's fallacy, projecting your own views to explain someone else's actions.

On our final page, we discuss why there's a lot more to discuss.

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