Japan’s finance minister appears to be echoing former Colorado governor Richard Lamm’s infamous assertion (which he claims was distorted) that the elderly have a “duty to die and get out of the way.” From the Guardian story:
Taro Aso, the finance minister, 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. “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.”
Before we judge too harshly, we should look in a mirror as some express similar sentiments here, for example, calling for health-care rationing against the elderly. Living longer is challenging our commitment to universal human equality.