If the suicide rate keeps increasing without any measures at social level, under the current situation where rapid aging is clearly predicted, Korea's society will face not only the problems in the welfare for the elderly but also the serious problems in the maintenance and the stability of the entire society. Thus, the interest in the suicide of the elderly and the systematic studies about that are the urgent tasks and challenges for our society. Thus, to prevent and eliminate the occurrence of these problems in advance, it is urgently needed to pay attention to the phenomenon of rapid growth of the suicide rate of the elderly, investigate the state and the causes precisely, analyze them and reflect on ourselves, accordingly.
Thus, this study took note of the phenomenon of the rapid growth of the suicide rate of the elderly based on this critical mind, and then analyzed the social matters that had been already established acting as the motives for suicide in the other side of that phenomenon in the ethical aspect. Of course, many complex factors will increase the suicide rate, but the study focused more on the representative social motives and then analyzed that in the ethical aspect. First, the rapid fluctuations of the society made individualism overflow and it led to the suicide of the elderly. Second, due to the capitalism and the utilitarianism deeply rooted into our society, the life of the elderly was switched from the sacred value of life to an economic value. This eventually led to the birth of the perception, 'the elder is the useless being' and the life of the elderly are oppressed. Third, the relationship network in our society acting based on 'filial duty', the traditional Confucian value, has been disrupted and the individuals buried in the family groups as Confucian value pursued the independence as 'independent I' and, as a result, the responsibilities in the aspect of social exchange relationship has collapsed. Thus, this acts as the motives for the elderly who had lost their base of support to chose the suicide as an extreme measure. Lastly, the concept of autonomy that has been looked up as a divine norm in the secular ethics since Kant made people believe they have the right to make a decision on their life. In other words, living or dying is a matter of autonomous choice for them. It is considered that 'the myth of autonomy' winged by the secular ethics eventually supports the suicide of the elderly.