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|Subject: Elder suicides rising in Korea||Date: 2/17/2013 8:52 AM|
|Author: alstroemeria||Number: 47940 of 63002|
Another sad story on this cold morning. Is this what the GOP has in store for us?
Rather than quietly taking her life at home as many South Koreans do, the woman staged her death as a final act of public protest against a society she said had abandoned her. She drank pesticide overnight in front of her city hall after officials stopped her welfare checks, saying they were no longer obligated to support her now that her son-in-law had found work.
“How can you do this to me?” read the suicide note that the police said they had found in a purse next to her body. “A law should serve the people, but it didn’t protect me.”
The woman’s death is part of one of South Korea’s grimmest statistics: the number of people 65 and older committing suicide, which has nearly quadrupled in recent years, making the country’s rate of such deaths among the highest in the developed world. The epidemic is the counterpoint to the nation’s runaway economic success, which has worn away at the Confucian social contract that formed the bedrock of Korean culture for centuries.
That contract was built on the premise that parents would do almost anything to care for their children — in recent times, depleting their life savings to pay for a good education — and then would end their lives in their children’s care. No Social Security system was needed. Nursing homes were rare.
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