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Culling the elderly

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
So, following on from the on of the unpopular opinions raised in the thread by the same name. I'm interested to see how a discussion on this pans out.

As a society, both nationally and globally, we seem to have many problems that this could solve.

So, a hypothetical plan goes along the lines of:
Install chips into everyone, once you reach the age of 72, your chip shuts you down in a painless tidy manner.

It would significantly improve:
  • pension funding
  • elderly care bills
  • hospital waiting lists
  • funding for other aspects of the health care system
  • job availability for young people
  • housing problems

And probably some others I haven't considered.

Now, while we're clearly a very, very, very long way away from doing it, it's a plan I'm actually struggling to see any decent arguments against other than 'it's not very nice'. Hence the thread.

So, someone please give me some decent reasons why it's a bad idea - I feel it probably should be, but haven't yet managed to nail down why.
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Comments

  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    One person may be in awful health at 50 and another may be able to play football at 90.
    One person may have nothing (left) to offer to the world at 30 and another may have the world depending on them at 80.

    Why base it on age?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Indrid makes a good point. My father is a vigorous man, he's very nearly 70. My mum died at 50 after a long and painful illness. My grandmother lived to 93 and was doing keep fit into her 80s
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What Yorghos said.

    Plus the 'not very nice' argument actually holds a lot of weight with me. I can't see how something so barbaric could be logically be implemented. In theory, it would save the government money but at what cost? The ideallic view that we love and respect one another would be obliterated. If we condoned culling the elderly then exactly where would it end?

    By the same argument why not cull the long term disabled?

    It would

    - save NHS money in the long term.
    - not put such a strain on the care system.
    - alleviate pressure on the benefit system.
    - release family/friends from the burden of caring.

    Using that argument we can apply it to anyone we see as a potential cost to society. E.g. the unemployed, those with mental health problems, babies, children.. where does it end?

    Presumably you've chosen the elderly because they've supposedly had a good inning but Yorghos has pretty much questioned the basis of that argument. Judging the worth of a life is a slippery slope.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In clinical terms older people are often very valuable to society. Their gross output in economic worth is probably higher than the 16-25 group, largely due to knowledge and expertise. Plenty of older chaps and ladies a leaving their employer in the lurch when they leave because you can't replace 50 years of experience at the drop of a hat.

    As well as this the support they give to their families from financial advice to looking after grandkids is certainly a net gain.

    We should keep our elders around, because simply put they're worth the money. I actually think older people should be dissuaded from retiring and instead more flexibility should be given to work less time. Maybe claim the universal credit / pension but pop in to office Wednesday and Thursday mornings to give things a once over.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So, following on from the on of the unpopular opinions raised in the thread by the same name. I'm interested to see how a discussion on this pans out.

    As a society, both nationally and globally, we seem to have many problems that this could solve.

    So, a hypothetical plan goes along the lines of:
    Install chips into everyone, once you reach the age of 72, your chip shuts you down in a painless tidy manner.

    It would significantly improve:
    • pension funding
    • elderly care bills
    • hospital waiting lists
    • funding for other aspects of the health care system
    • job availability for young people
    • housing problems

    And probably some others I haven't considered.

    Now, while we're clearly a very, very, very long way away from doing it, it's a plan I'm actually struggling to see any decent arguments against other than 'it's not very nice'. Hence the thread.

    So, someone please give me some decent reasons why it's a bad idea - I feel it probably should be, but haven't yet managed to nail down why.

    because it makes you a cunt, and youll probably change your mind when its your mum and dad get to 72
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    do you seriously want to kill old people for the sake of money?

    People are not worker ants
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks Suzy. Really helpful debating tactic there.

    I never said I wanted to - just taking a practical approach to problem solving it potentially looks like a good idea. It's also got good legs as an example of "just because something makes sense doesn't mean it's right".

    Clem, the downsides of care homes was one if the drivers behind the concept. Its a long way off for me, but currently think I'd far rather be shut down rather than drift towards a slow an undignified death in a care home. It's got at least as much to do with dignity as money.

    I've had grandparents die, so not the same as parents - but in various conversations with a range of people a common trend comes out of quick and painless death being preferred to long drawn out illness.
  • Annaarrr!!Annaarrr!! Noob Posts: 876
    I can see why the suggestion for culling was made, but if people haven't done stuff they want to by that age, which I think is highly likely with a large number of people, I could imagine some would die regretting things they may have missed out on. And those who are scared of death or aren't ready to die as they haven't quite accepted it by that point, may die in fear, which is no way to go. Human's should be able to die in peace and comfort whenever possible, I think setting a date for a person's death would take this away from them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    but why? life is for people to enjoy, not just for mindless procreation to further 'society'. you can have fun and contribute even over the age of 72. if people want to die then they can make that decision themselves.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Annarr, going for that kind of retaliation doesn't make you much better.

    Interesting that you mention missed opportunities, I would have thought it was the opposite if anything. It's much easier to schedule (and budget) if you know how much time you've got to deal with.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Clem, the downsides of care homes was one if the drivers behind the concept. Its a long way off for me, but currently think I'd far rather be shut down rather than drift towards a slow an undignified death in a care home. It's got at least as much to do with dignity as money..

    I can see the personal attraction to this. Personally I'm in favour of having a place like Dignitas where people can choose to end their lives with dignity. But the keyword for me is choice. Dignity won't come into it if you inflict a sudden death on a person based on their age.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ITS A POINTLESs debate. About as useful and fun as debating whether we should kill everyones first born, or whether its a good idea to kill 25 year olds. Whats the point? Its not a good idea, it would never happen and even in the countries with appalling human rights, its not something that is implemented, its just an all round horrid thing to even suggest and suggests to me a complete lack of compassion, empathy and I guess its capitalism to the extreme, but more like people are slaves to the wage, and when they cant provide anymore, even if they have been doing so their entire lives, they should be exterminated.
    Why would people work their entire lives if they were going to be seen off before theyd even had a retirement?

    Im sorry you dont like my debating skills. I am distraught!
  • Annaarrr!!Annaarrr!! Noob Posts: 876
    I don't care tbh, people are taking this way too personally and it's ridiculous.

    That's a good point, but what if people have come out of a long term illness in their late 60s and have been too unwell to complete some of these things? While having a date to make sure you can have things sorted by then allows people to get prepared to a certain extent, people can't plan their lives, too many unexpected things happen in life and people may die feeling they haven't had enough time to make up for things if setbacks, such as illness, has caused things to be delayed for them. Also, what about things like the birth of new members of the family? Can you imagine the heartbreak some would experience knowing they'll definitely be dead before they have the chance to meet a grandchild (less likely), great-grandchild or even great-great-grandchild? I know it'd break my heart..
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ITS A POINTLESs debate. About as useful and fun as debating whether we should kill everyones first born, or whether its a good idea to kill 25 year olds. Whats the point? Its not a good idea, it would never happen and even in the countries with appalling human rights, its not something that is implemented, its just an all round horrid thing to even suggest and suggests to me a complete lack of compassion, empathy and I guess its capitalism to the extreme, but more like people are slaves to the wage, and when they cant provide anymore, even if they have been doing so their entire lives, they should be exterminated.
    Why would people work their entire lives if they were going to be seen off before theyd even had a retirement?

    Im sorry you dont like my debating skills. I am distraught!

    The way I'm understanding it now is that SM is proposing an interesting debate. I don't think he actually believes it should actually happen. (Unless I'm getting you wrong Scary Monster?) That's what I got from 'It's also got good legs as an example of "just because something makes sense doesn't mean it's right".
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The way I'm understanding it now is that SM is proposing an interesting debate. I don't think he actually believes it should actually happen. (Unless I'm getting you wrong Scary Monster?) That's what I got from 'It's also got good legs as an example of "just because something makes sense doesn't mean it's right".

    Im glad you find it interesting.

    Would you find it an interesting debate if someone suggested culling women, or black people, or gay people???
  • Annaarrr!!Annaarrr!! Noob Posts: 876

    Would you find it an interesting debate if someone suggested culling women, or black people, or gay people???

    Would be interesting to hear their points. I don't see anyone attacking the elderly, just like having a discussion about any of those groups being culled wouldn't and doesn't need to be an attack on them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm finding it interesting from the perspective that it could never ever happen and never should happen. It's easy to take it for granted that we live in a civilised and humane world so when faced with this sort of debate although the answer is morally and ethically clear; it's still interesting to pin point the exact reasons as to why it's wrong.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree with Suzy and think it's a horrific idea. I find it strange that you've even ever considered it to be honest. I can't ever imagine sitting around and suddenly thinking hey, I think all old people should be killed at 72. weird!

    my grandma is 85 and is fit and healthy, hardly any health problems and has an amazing life. one of the many reasons this idea is quite ridiculous.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Annaarrr!! wrote: »
    Would be interesting to hear their points. I don't see anyone attacking the elderly, just like having a discussion about any of those groups being culled wouldn't and doesn't need to be an attack on them.

    You dont see it as an attack on the elderly that some kids on a youth site would start a debate about killing them off pretty much as soon as they retire?
    I totally see it as an attack on the elderly.
    Why are you more outraged by my suggestion that it would imply a lack of empathy and sociopathic tendencies, than you are about the suggestion that old people should be killed
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Why shouldnt you kill all jews? Debate!
    Why shouldnt gay people be culled - debate!

    You cant debate it. Capital punishment is contraversial enough when someone has commited heinous crimes, but you cant debate whether its ok to just pop off innocent people for an arbritrary reason that means nothing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Surely legalising assisted suicide (as I suggested) would be a better answer? You could be battling with an illness in your 40s knowing it will never improve and/or get worse and want to end it now before it gets to that stage. Or you could be perfectly fine in your 70s and 80s and want to carry on. I believe suicide rates are the highest with the elderly? I could be wrong. At least then the choice is with the individual. Personally I would like to be able to chose to end my life with dignity before a degenerative illness/condition takes over and living out my days totally dependent on others.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ballerina wrote: »
    Surely legalising assisted suicide (as I suggested) would be a better answer? You could be battling with an illness in your 40s knowing it will never improve and/or get worse and want to end it now before it gets to that stage. Or you could be perfectly fine in your 70s and 80s and want to carry on. I believe suicide rates are the highest with the elderly? I could be wrong. At least then the choice is with the individual. Personally I would like to be able to chose to end my life with dignity before a degenerative illness/condition takes over and living out my days totally dependent on others.

    Pretty much what I was going to say. Degenerative ageing/illness is the strain. Not being old.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    .
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Dear Lord.

    This is a serious debate?! I thought discussing assistive suicide was bad enough. Doesn't anyone on here value life? NB Assistive suicide is still just a "PC" way of saying manslaughter BTW

    If we are talking health/state economics or the ability of the world to sustain a population then we'd actually be better off reducing the birth rate. Younger people will consume many more resources than our older people do and will in the reminder of their life. More to the point, someone born in the first world will consume 8 times as much as a child born in the third world, so maybe we should just reduce birth rate here.

    Alternatively, if you haven't proved your personal value by the time you leave school, maybe we should kill you before you drain anymore of our resources without being able to contribute. Maybe we should assess "worth" before allowing you to eat and access services based on a ration basis.

    All of those examples are equally as mad as taking a Logan's Run (look it up on IMDB) approach.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just to be clear - personally I don't think it should happen, but it came up over a lunch discussion one a day a while back and since then I've struggled to come up with practical reasons why it's a bad idea.

    On paper, it looks like a winner - which is why I thought it would mak an interesting discussion.

    Based on a retirement age of 65, 72 would give you a reasonable amount of time in retirement, some time with grandchildren and based on pensions contributions over working life a decent income over the time. With slarti's comment about 74 in mind the paper case in favour would probably need to be raised to age 74.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ballerina wrote: »
    I believe suicide rates are the highest with the elderly? I could be wrong.

    You are. It's men aged 30-44. Men also have a high rate between 45-59.

    For women the highest rate is between age 45-59
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    People do value life, but personally I think it's more about quality than quantity. If someone is suffering and that can't be rectified then I don't see who we are to stop them from ending it if they've made that choice.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Maybe an assisted suicide thread is needed? I know we had one fairly recently though so would anyone want another crack at the debate?

    I'm unsure about this thread now.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Just to be clear - personally I don't think it should happen, but it came up over a lunch discussion one a day a while back and since then I've struggled to come up with practical reasons why it's a bad idea.

    On paper, it looks like a winner - which is why I thought it would mak an interesting discussion.

    Based on a retirement age of 65, 72 would give you a reasonable amount of time in retirement, some time with grandchildren and based on pensions contributions over working life a decent income over the time. With slarti's comment about 74 in mind the paper case in favour would probably need to be raised to age 74.

    On paper it only looks a winner if you don't value what our older generation offers and see them as a "drain" on society in one way or another. For the the premise is based on ageism (hence SCC point) rather than anything truly tangible.

    Listen to what teh Tories are currently saying about the unemployed being "skivers", surely there's an argument (on the same basis) for culling them, or maybe the disabled (as was previously mentioned in the thread)...

    It's a bad idea because it's arbitary, not based on individual circumstance and not based on any kind of firm evidence base of reasoning for both need and effect.

    Does that help?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Maybe an assisted suicide thread is needed?

    Only if you call it manslaughter :p
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