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The Armchair Futurist

The Long Thanatopsis

Over the next few decades, baby boomers will reinvent how America dies. That gives Generation X one last thing to roll its eyes about, as it follows a step behind.

In 30 years, the assisted suicides of people won’t be met by the furor that followed the death of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman with terminal brain cancer who ended her own life with a fatal dose of barbiturates on Nov. 1.

In 30 years, the media won’t bother with stories like Gillian Bennett, an 85-year-old Canadian woman who took her own life in August using alcohol and barbiturates because she had decided not to live any longer with dementia. Upon her death, a website, deadatnoon.com, went live with an essay justifying her choice and arguing for assisted suicide. In 30 years, an explanatory website will be as unnecessary as a newspaper story, because this form of dying will be just another one of the ways that we die.

This shift will be part of the lasting legacy of the 76 million baby boomers who make up about 25 percent of the American population and who will be aging and dying in the next 20 years. A century from now, the historians of the future will not credit them... Continue Reading

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Today’s Headlines

Nov 20
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