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Connecting Childhood and Old Age in Popular Media$
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Vanessa Joosen

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496815163

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496815163.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

The Right to Self-Determination

The Right to Self-Determination

Ageism in Two Dutch Children’s Books on the Voluntary Death of Elderly People

(p.76) 4 The Right to Self-Determination
Connecting Childhood and Old Age in Popular Media

Helma van Lierop-Debrauwer

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter discusses two recent Dutch children’s books by Koos Meinderts and Marjolijn Hof that address euthanasia and the right to self-determination at every age. The Netherlands is a country known for its relatively liberal position on euthanasia. Helma van Lierop-Debrauwer presents the books by Hof and Meinderts as interesting case studies in examining how children’s literature in the Netherlands interacts with social views of childhood and old age. Both generations have a struggle for agency in common. The analysis is framed by sociological research on ageing and ageism in contemporary Western cultures, including Dutch culture, and in particular on the issue of voluntary death among old people. The idea of so-called “rational” suicide to cut short old age is a heavily debated topic in age studies to which these two children’s books contribute.

Keywords:   Children’s literature, Euthanasia, The Netherlands, Ageism, Agency

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