Human Exceptionalism

Covering the Cost of Assisted Suicide but Not Chemotherapy in Oregon

We have been warning for years that this was a possibility in Oregon. Medicaid is rationed, meaning that some treatments are not covered. But assisted suicide is always covered. And now, Barbara Wagner was faced with that very scenario. From the story:

Last month, she found out that her lung cancer, which had been in remission for about two years, had come back. After her oncologist prescribed a cancer drug that could slow the cancer growth and extend her life, Wagner was notified that the Oregon Health Plan wouldn’t cover the treatment, but that it would cover palliative, or comfort, care, including, if she chose, doctor-assisted suicide.

No thanks to the bureaucrats in Oregon–but rather, thanks to an evil drug company–she will receive the treatment after all:

Then, on Monday morning, a representative of the pharmaceutical company called Wagner and told her it would provide the medicine for free. Wagner said she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, so she did both. “I am just so thrilled,” she said. “I am so relieved and so happy.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened either. A few years ago a patient who needed a double organ transplant was denied the treatment but would have been eligible for state-financed assisted suicide. But not to worry. Just keep repeating the mantra: There are no abuses with Oregon’s assisted suicide law. There are no abuses. There are no abuses!

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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