Friday, July 31, 2020

Five problems for assisted suicide

Five problems for assisted suicide:
1. Assisted suicide is a deadly mix with our broken, profit-driven health care system. The Oregon Health Plan told two chemotherapy patients it would not pay for their chemo, but would pay for their assisted suicide.
2. In spite of denials and claims that this is not permitted, persons with psychiatric disabilities such as depression are given assisted suicide in Oregon.
3. Families who want assisted suicide for the loved ones can just find another doctor if the doctor says no.
4. A six month diagnosis of often wildly mistaken, and often given to those who are not terminally ill.
5. The Oregon law does not protect patient facing family pressure, emotional or financial, which may distort patient choice.

12 comments:

bmiller said...

Oregon was always a leader in Eugenics so this is no surprise.

Starhopper said...

I've long been a firm believer in the Slippery Slope. Once assisted suicide becomes legal, it's a short step to its being mandatory.

Legion of Logic said...

Once assisted suicide becomes legal, it's a short step to its being mandatory.

Which would seem to simply be "murder by doctor".

Starhopper said...

More accurately, "murder by insurance company".

Also, I could imagine some families urging an elderly member to do themselves in, so they won't have to care for them any longer (or even to get at their estate faster).

StardustyPsyche said...

This is the only life you get. Don't waste it on imaginary gods or suicide.

Hal said...

Well the Oregon Health plan was established to provide health care coverage to the poorer segment of the state's population. It has a limited budget and so has had to set guidelines as to what services it can provide. Since chemotherapy is generally very expensive it can only support those treatments that have a good chance of success. That is not ideal. However, at least with this plan many people are still able to receive chemotherapy which they would not have been able to get otherwise. So more lives are actually being saved than if the plan did not exist. And the two people denied chemo would never have had an opportunity to even request it and would have sadly passed away in a short time.
Since the two people who were denied chemo would not have been able to get it without this plan I wonder why the people who are so upset about this aren't advocating for an increased investment in this government health plan to ensure that all people needing chemo can receive it. That would surely result in saving more lives.

bmiller said...

It has a limited budget and so has had to set guidelines as to what services it can provide. Since chemotherapy is generally very expensive it can only support those treatments that have a good chance of success. That is not ideal.....

But a real problem in our health care system are the families that seem unable to let go of their loved one even though it is clear that they are going to die shortly regardless of treatment. The result being a large percentage of health care resources are devoted to enabling a suffering person to live a few weeks longer.


Most families and governments have limited budgets and so must decide what treatments make sense. It's up to a person or a family to decide how to use their resources if they are paying for it, and the government if they are paying for it. But neither a family nor the government should decide it's a good thing to kill an innocent human being and then do it.

Legion of Logic said...

Don't waste it on imaginary gods or suicide.

So someone should have a miserable life rather than a joyful life believing in a deity you don't?

Hal said...

bmiller,
Most families and governments have limited budgets and so must decide what treatments make sense. It's up to a person or a family to decide how to use their resources if they are paying for it, and the government if they are paying for it.

So I take it that you would agree me that Victor's first point regarding the denial of chemo is irrelevant to the question of assisted suicide.

Starhopper said...

Hal,

For the record, I am strongly in favor of a national universal health care system, similar to what they have today in most European countries. (I lived in Europe for nine years, and found the health care over there far superior to our crazy employer based system.)

As to end of life care, I have no problem with hospice care, and measures to allow a hopelessly sick or very old person to just die naturally and in as little discomfort as possible. But that's a far cry from actively killing someone.

Almost 12 years ago, when my own wife was in the last stages of her struggle against pancreatic cancer and it had become clear that all hope was gone, she simply stopped all treatments and died a few weeks later in great peace. The last sound she ever heard was our youngest daughter (a professional singer) singing the hymn "Come Down, O Love Divine" at her bedside.

Hal said...

Stahopper,

Am very sorry to hear about your wife's death due to pancreatic cancer.

I would like to clarify that I have no interest in discussing the merits or demerits of assisted suicide. Am more concerned with how medical resources can be distributed to help the most people.

I originally posted because I found Victor's linkage of the denial of chemotherapy with assisted suicide since the denial was only based on the criteria that had been established due to the limited resources available. The plan does cover various forms of palliative care, so both patients did have the option to choose hospice care if they wished to. They certainly had no right to insist on chemo given the circumstances.

I do agree with you regarding the need for universal health care in this country.

Hal said...

Starhopper,
Sorry,

"I originally posted because I found Victor's linkage of the denial of chemotherapy with assisted suicide since the denial was only based on the criteria that had been established due to the limited resources available."

should be:

"I originally posted because I found Victor's linkage of the denial of chemotherapy with assisted suicide questionable since the denial was only based on the criteria that had been established due to the limited resources available".