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The bio-medical literature has long argued that if a person elects to suicide, then they must have been depressed or otherwise psychiatrically impaired. In this regard over recent decades medical studies have systematically reported that less than 10 percent of all suicides could be called rational. That is they are deaths which reflect an informed decision in the absence of cognitive impairment that would prevent realistic assessments from being made and, finally, that the decision is one of free choice without external pressure (Worth & Cobia, 1995). Some studies have even found that only one percent of all suicides fulfill this criteria.
At Exit we clearly disagree with these findings which have generally emerged from studies undertaken within the discipline of psychiatry. While we are not suggesting that those involved were biased in any true sense, we would argue that their view of suicide is fairly narrow. As such it is increasingly out of touch with how many elderly people feel about having to live much longer (and for the most part sicker ) lives than those who have