Geriatric depression, along with dementia, is one of the most common health issues the elderly face. Depression can often lead to suicidal thoughts. Alternatively, many "healthy" older adults fear dying in hospitals, in an unfamiliar environment, surrounded by tubes and machines. Anticipating further physical or mental deterioration, these people may decide it is better to end their life on their own terms. To further cloud the ethical waters, it is not always clear to which group a given elderly person belongs to.
In many societies, the concept of suicide is often considered a taboo subject. However, this is inimical to structuring reasonable, respectful debates. Given that this is a pressing issue, its important that open, serious discussion is held.
For autonomous, aging adults, is it ever possible for suicide to be considered a "rational" option? If you disagree, what are some alternative methods of treatment you'd suggest instead? If you agree, where would you draw the line?
In general, how does this subject link with geriatric depression? What about elderly people battling terminal illnesses with no sign of treatment? Or those suffering particularly painful illnesses?
More personally, how does your particular country/culture handle this sensitive issue?