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posted by King Minos in Health

Economic 'Progress,' Elderly Suicide in S. Korea!

February 17, 2013

The woman’s death is part of one of South Korea’s grimmest statistics: the number of people 65 and older committing suicide, which has nearly quadrupled in recent years, making the country’s rate of such deaths among the highest in the developed world. The epidemic is the counterpoint to the nation’s runaway economic success, which has worn away at the Confucian social contract that formed the bedrock of Korean culture for centuries.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/world/asia/in-korea-changes-in-society...

THIS story raises some interesting questions that seem an affront to globalization and even the concepts of "progress" and "modernization."

This story ties the rising economic prosperity of children to a seemingly illogical rise in suicides among their elderly parents;

No doubt hard economic times have seen older citizens -- in S. Korea and in America -- feeling as though they are a burden on their own children; somehow, that their very existence threatens the ability of their kids to advance!

The King himself has seen some pretty strange things out in the U.S. economy with regard to elderly parents: In some cases, one senses almost a conspiracy among would-be heirs to get their hands on the inheritance "as soon as possible" so as to stave off their own self-caused day of financial reckoning! (Such things may be MORE COMMON since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, than they were before that time.) Add in our more tolerant discussion of "assisted suicide" through Hospice, and flavor it up with a just barely perceivable but building social construct that sees only youth and vitality as "desirable" and "good;" and no doubt various countries around the world are on course to see spikes in suicides, and assisted suicides, among older citizens!

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