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

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Ageism, Euthanasia, and Crimes against the Elderly


Sumanta Banerjee, in his response titled Ageism and the Rights of Older People (EPW, 3 February 2024), thoughtfully raises a pivotal question concerning octogenarians. Often, these individuals become dependent on others at the cost of their self-respect and may find themselves contemplating the bleak prospect of geronticide. An essential question emerges in this regard: Should these elderly individuals be afforded the right to choose euthanasia and the option to donate their organs for medical purposes? However, it becomes imperative to delve into the legal intricacies that argue against the endorsement of euthanasia, especially in light of the documented cases of senicide in India.

Senicide, defined as the killing of elderly people, has manifested as a concerning issue, particularly in some parts of Tamil Nadu, where the age-old ritualistic practice of Thalaikoothal prevails. This ritual involves the intentional termination of elderly lives, driven by economic challenges and societal burdens, raising ethical and moral questions surrounding this ancient practice.

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Published On : 9th Mar, 2024

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