Taro Aso, Japan's Finance Minister who had a serious problem with foot-in-mouth disease says Let Elderly People 'Hurry Up and Die'
Taro Aso said on Monday that the elderly should be allowed to "hurry up and die" to relieve pressure on the state to pay for their medical care.
Shades of Dr. Kevorkian
"Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. I would wake up feeling increasingly bad knowing that [treatment] was all being paid for by the government," he said during a meeting of the national council on social security reforms. "The problem won't be solved unless you let them hurry up and die."
Aso's comments are likely to cause offence in Japan, where almost a quarter of the 128 million population is aged over 60. The proportion is forecast to rise to 40% over the next 50 years.
To compound the insult, he referred to elderly patients who are no longer able to feed themselves as "tube people". The health and welfare ministry, he added, was "well aware that it costs several tens of millions of yen" a month to treat a single patient in the final stages of life.
In 2008, while serving as prime minister, he described "doddering" pensioners as tax burdens who should take better care of their health.
In 2001, he said he wanted Japan to become the kind of successful country in which "the richest Jews would want to live".
He once likened an opposition party to the Nazis, praised Japan's colonial rule in Taiwan and, as foreign minister, told US diplomats they would never be trusted in Middle East peace negotiations because they have "blue eyes and blond hair".
Judging from the insensitive nature of comments on health issues on top of all his previous gaffes, Aso is clearly unfit for office.
However, a couple things he stated make perfect sense. For example "Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die."
That is the way I personally feel as well. It brings to mind Dr. Jack Kevorkian
Jacob "Jack" Kevorkian commonly known as "Dr. Death", was an American pathologist, euthanasia activist, painter, author, composer and instrumentalist. He is best known for publicly championing a terminal patient's right to die via physician-assisted suicide; he claimed to have assisted at least 130 patients to that end. He famously said, "dying is not a crime".
Dr. Jack Kevorkian's "60 Minutes" Interview
In 1999, Kevorkian was arrested and tried for his direct role in a case of voluntary euthanasia. He was convicted of second-degree murder and served eight years of a 10-to-25-year prison sentence. He was released on parole on June 1, 2007, on condition he would not offer suicide advice to any other person.
Please consider Dr. Jack Kevorkian's "60 Minutes" Interview
which contains a video of Dr. K. himself injecting a patient who suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease, with a dose of lethal drugs.
Of all the interviews he conducted for "60 Minutes," Mike Wallace often said none had a greater impact than this one.
Dr. Jack Kevorkian had long been a public advocate of assisted suicide for the terminally ill. From 1990 to 1998, he claimed to have helped end the lives of some 130 willing subjects. In September of 1998, Dr. Jack Kevorkian videotaped himself injecting Thomas Youk, who suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease, with a dose of lethal drugs.