Countries that allow euthanasia have already fallen pretty far, allowing for children and people with mental illnesses to be killed. But new Lithuanian health minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė might have just become the lowest of the low with her new recommendation. According to Šalaševičiūtė, taking care of terminally ill people is just too gosh darn expensive, especially if they’re poor. So the solution is clearly to just kill off the poor people!
Euthanasia might be needed for poor people who cannot access palliative care, the new Lithuanian Health Minister has suggested. Rimante Šalaševiciute was sworn earlier this month, but already she has made waves by backing an open discussion of the legalisation of euthanasia.
Without making any specific proposals, she told local media that Lithuania was not a welfare state with palliative care available for all and that euthanasia might be an option for people who did not want to torment relatives with the spectacle of their suffering.
So, as health minister, Šalaševičiūtė could work to build a better palliative care sector, as well as improving hospice care. Instead, though, she’d rather just get rid of the people who don’t have enough money, because what? Someone’s income dictates the value of their life now? Of course, if you ask Šalaševičiūtė, she’s being compassionate. She doesn’t want the poor to suffer, see? And it’s not that the means aren’t available to alleviate a person’s suffering humanely, without killing them. But that just costs so much money, whereas a lethal injection is a one-time done deal that gets rid of the drain on society.
How depraved does someone have to be to not only think these things, but to believe in them so strongly that they’re willing to advocate them to the world? Health care is not inexpensive, everyone knows that. And Lithuania does not necessarily need to set up a welfare state. But if their palliative care system is not working, then the solution is not to just kill all the inconvenient people.
People who are sick deserve our care and compassion, they deserve to be helped, not euthanized because the size of their bank account isn’t big enough. As health minister, Šalaševičiūtė should understand that.