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The
United States of America is built by minorities, where they risked everything
and came here for the taste of the American dream. Even though ethnic
differences are behind us and we came to accept our differences, it still feels
like the minority groups are the ones that received the short end of the stick
when it comes to aging. Not only minority groups faced economic struggles, but
they also had to face horrible discrimination against them. The two most
disadvantaged groups are the African and Hispanic Americans. The two groups
occupy 17 % percent of the older population, where 9 % of the older population
will be African American and the 8% is the Hispanics (Moody, 302).

African
American constitute the largest minority group among the aged (Moody, 301).
Being the largest group, they faced horrific discrimination and prejudice.
Because of their harsh living situations, they face lower life expectancy at
birth and in most decades of life (Moody, 302). The older adult also tends to
experience more functional impairment from chronic illness (Moody, 302). Even
with all these tragedies, African Americans are far likely to be admitted to a
nursing home than non- minority. The effect of prejudice includes poverty and
poor health status. Out of every 10 older Americans, 9 now receive social
security but 25 % recessive supplemental security income which reflects higher
poverty rate.

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The
second minority group is Hispanic Americans. “The number of Latinos in the U.S
population aged 65+ is expected to reach 20 % by the year 2050” (Moody, 302).
Hispanics face a higher incidence of poverty, poorer health status and higher
rates of cognitive impairment than other ethnic minority and non-minority
elders. Because Hispanics have lower lifetime earnings and few years of
contributing to social security they will be disadvantageous when it comes to
retirement.

The
most important aging services that might be particularly important as these
group age are Medicaid /Medicare and social security. They present health care
and provide them money to live out the rest of their life and their known to
improve economic well-being for older Americans. (Moody and Sasser, pp 301).
Another role aging services can play is by making senior centers to be
culturally sensitive and competent.

Aristotle
argues the major difference between humans and animals are our ability as
humans to think rationally. Sometimes thinking rationally is not an easy thing
to do especially, when it comes to the right to die debate. Personally, I
believe that every person should be able to make his/her own decision whether
to live or die in because I believe Peaceful death with dignity and respect, in
my opinion, is way better than living in suffering from unbearable pain while
you wait for it to end.

The
first major case that brought attention to this problem is the Case of Karen
Quinlan where there was a 21-year-old who was in a coma and her family wanted
the court to discontinue the use of a respirator, they called this
“extraordinary means” of keeping someone alive. On appeal, New Jersey Supreme
court ruled that there was a constitutional right to privacy which permitted
withholding of this kind of treatment.  Karen Quinlan died in a nursing
home 9 year after the respirator was removed since she was sustained by feeding
tubes and antibiotics. This incident stimulated new laws such as the California
Natural Death Act of 1976.

Important
legal concepts used to decide whether someone has the right to die in cases
involving passive euthanasia are the substituted judgment and the best interest
standard. The Substituted judgment is where the things the patient would have
wanted under these circumstances are considered while in the best Interest standard
it is where the balance of benefits and costs that a reasonable person might
desire are considered. Instead of making people suffer, “Death with dignity is
the rational choice in a desperate situation.” (Moody & Sasser, 2017)
That’s what Aristotle would have wanted it.

I remember this vivid memory of my
father when I was younger where it was me and him going to the supermarket.
This was back then when PlayStation 2 was the newest thing out and every one of
my friends had one. So, as we pass by the store I knew I had to take my
chances. When I asked him to get me one he told me, “son of an old guy
like me money doesn’t grow on trees”. I was so confused about what he was
saying but I think I get it now even though I never got that PlayStation. As the
older population continues to grow it’s necessary to discover the source of
retirement income. The main sources include social security, private pensions,
and individual savings or assets sometimes they are referred to the
three-legged stool.  

            “As
social Security has grown to become a larger portion of income for older
adults, earnings from employment have them in the sharply” (Moody,312). The
poverty rate among older adults has been significantly reduced. The increasing
value of assets such as homes bought a couple decades earlier has brought
increases in net worth. There is a significant increase in retirement income
However, there is a limitation to older adults who are minorities, not well
educated, and women since these groups have not held jobs enabling them to
collect maximum Social Security benefits or private pensions leading to wealth
accumulation. Older women are especially vulnerable to economic risk when their
spouses die because the social security benefits are declined. Ultimately,
differences in women’s and men’s employment histories can lead to economic
vulnerability for women. In order to assure my own successful retirement, I
would work as much as possible to collect social security, I would also start a
401K plan and start saving and lastly, I would buy property to have some assets
that will be useful in the long run because like my father said when I get old
the money won’t grow on the trees.  

            In
conclusion, African and Hispanic Americans suffer from functional and cognitive
impairment from chronic illness. Even though they’re the largest minority group
they are very disadvantageous when it comes to the economic and social aspect
of living and aging. Older adults have three different sources of income for
retirement which includes social security, private pensions, and individual
savings or assets. The Case of Karen Quinlan initiated the movement for the
right to die debate when California passed Natural Death Act of 1976. Argument
of the ability to make his/her own decision whether to live or die continues.

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