Opting out

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  • Published 20070904
  • ISBN: 9780733321269
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

FOR MANY AUSTRALIANS, suicide is still a secret, shameful business. Like incest and child abuse, it doesn’t happen to us. The secrecy lies, I think, in its universal and seductive power. It can tempt anyone at any time, as the logical answer to unbearable difficulty. For most of us, the pull of life outweighs it in an instant or an hour, but for a few of us the call becomes imperative. Those few, driven to commit the final, irrevocable act, those few who could have been you or me, are difficult to talk about. Outside the language of reports and statistics, suicide remains lace-curtain hush-hush territory.

But all that is set to change as our population ages and as the Baby Boomers begin to contemplate the extraordinary fact that they too will die. Having fought for greater choice than their parents had in the way they live, they are starting to fight for greater choice in the way they will die. Suicide is starting to come out of the closet.

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