New Outlook for the Aged

Throughout history the aged have occupied a precarious position in society. Some primitive peoples like the Eskimos and other nomads respected the elderly but left them to die when they could no longer care for themselves. Natives of some South Seas islands paddled away from their families—to death—when age overtook them. Nor is the idea of abandoning the elderly unique to primitive societies. Marya Mannes' 1968 novel They postulated a world in which everyone over 50 was herded into public institutions and eventually liquidated. A 1966 Rand Corporation study concluded that if...

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