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Suicide by the elderly is becoming a common phenomenon in rural China, according to a recent report. A migrant worker took a seven-day leave from his job in the city after hearing that his old father living in the countryside was in critical condition. A few days after the son returned, his fathers’ health became stable. The son then said to his father, “Are you going to die or not? I only have seven days off, and that includes the time for your funeral.” After hearing his son’s cold words, the father committed suicide. The son quickly finished the funeral just before his leave ended and returned to the city for work right away. This is just one of many cases of elderly suicide collected in the state-funded research project “Sociological Study Of Rural Elderly Suicide,” according to the state-run China Youth Daily. “The elderly suicide rate in rural areas has been increasing very fast since 2000… and the situation now is extremely severe,” said Liu Yanwu, the lead researcher of the project and an instructor in sociology in Wuhan University.

Beginning in 2008 the research was conducted for six years in over 40 countryside villages in 11 provinces including Hubei, Shandong, Jiangsu, Shanxi, and . . . . . read more

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