In chapter 4, Jonas completes several volunteer hours at the House of the Old, where he bathes an older woman named Larissa. While Jonas is bathing Larissa, she tells him that they celebrated the release of an older gentleman named Roberto earlier that day. Larissa mentions that Roberto's entire life story was told before he was released and says that he gave a lovely good-bye speech before his close friends said a few moving words about him. Larissa also mentions that Roberto was ecstatic as he walked into the Releasing Room and through the mysterious doors.
Later on, Jonas is assigned to be the community's next Receiver of Memory and the Giver shows him a video of his father releasing an infant. Jonas is astonished and disturbed to discover that release is simply a euphemism for death after he witnesses his father give a defenseless infant a lethal injection. Overall, Jonas discovers that his highly-structured community practices euthanasia by killing the older citizens.