Killing of unproductive aged
Murder of the aged
In societies functioning at the subsistence level, the existence of an extra mouth to feed becomes especially critical when that person is unproductive. Procedures ensuring the premature death of such people, whether voluntary or involuntary, therefore tend to emerge.
According to a detailed comparison of ethnographic studies in some 95 primitive societies, infirm old people were killed off in 13 and abandoned or exposed to the elements in 9.