Monday, 3 August 2015

Duty to Die

In America, physician assisted suicide is legal in a few states and under various stages of review in other states. It was anticipated that it would be only occasionally used but this is no longer the case.

Even the most basic health insurance plans include a minimum level of care for terminally ill patients, that being to provide ‘a pain management protocol’ for however many months, weeks or days until the patient’s natural death.

With the legislation change, allowing assisted suicide, the insurance companies can now state (and have done so successfully) that their requirement now is simply to provide for this new minimum level of care, i.e. - the cost of the lethal injection. ($100 instead of thousands of dollars.)

This leaves the patient with the ‘choice’ to pay for their own pain killing medicine, if they have the means, or if they cannot pay the options are dying in agonizing pain or agreeing to assisted suicide by lethal injection.

Some have opted for assisted suicide to spare their children the cost burden of their medication in these circumstances, being made to feel that they are obliged to die.

Whether these clever loopholes were not foreseen by lawmakers or whether the legislation was deliberately and conveniently vague is not known, but this version of euthanasia is getting a hearing now in most first world countries and could easily slip into the mainstream medical system if not opposed vigorously. 

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