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Apr 26, 2018

There is a lot of discussion about the right to die. Although most of these have to do with Physician Assisted Death (PAD). What about in those who are not dying but express a dire to end their lives in the absence of a diagnosable mental illness? Do they have the same right? Well, on today's podcast we are going to step into this tricky topic with our guest, Dr. Meera Balasubramaniam, a Geriatric Psychiatrist from NYU. Meera wrote a paper for JAGS titled "Rational Suicide in Elderly Adults: A Clinician's Perspective". We talk with Meera about her article, including how she would define rational suicide, how can we help best explore these thoughts that patients consider rational, and how society and baby boomers are changing the way we think about this. We also dive into some other interesting topics include agism. I really love this quote from Meera, so I'll post it here, but for the full transcript read below or listen to the podcast: Ageism is a very interesting and distinct concept. It's fear of growing old or fear of being in that state. It's so distinct from something like racism or sexism. If a person is racist about a certain other race, it's less likely that they are going to be part of the other race that they are having negative connotations about. Similarly, if you are sexist, it's less likely less likely that you are going to belong to the other gender. When it comes to age, it's quite fascinating that most of us are actually going to get to that stage that we're being ageist about. What it is about growing old and about being down in the future that scares most of us has been sort of the crux of part of my work from a society perspective.