Human Exceptionalism

How to Drive the Dying to Assisted Suicide

Hey kids! I have an idea to cut health care costs: Let’s legalize assisted suicide and also ration care to the elderly and dying! Then we’ll still call it “choice.” Genius!

Think that’s alarmist? Assisted suicide is on the front burner in the UK, with the PM personally opposed to assisted suicide but still planning to allow  a free vote to legalize in the House of Commons.

At the same time, the NICE rationing board is apparently getting ready to reduce the level of treatment available to the elderly and late stage cancer patients. From the Daily Mail story:

Thousands of seriously ill cancer patients could be denied treatment under changes to the way drugs are funded on the NHS. Campaigners are warning that proposals from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) will end the priority given to terminally ill patients.

They estimate almost 13,000 cancer patients a year who are given life-prolonging drugs might be denied them under the new plans – with the elderly particularly vulnerable. They are urging the Government to tell Nice to approve more treatments, as has been done in Scotland.

Of course, Oregon already jumped down this particular rat hole: It rations Medicaid–including life-extending cancer treatment to late stage cancer patients. But it will always pay for assisted suicide–as a Medicaid administrator oh, so coldly wrote to Barbara Wagner and Randy Stroups, denying payment for chemotherapy but assuring that their assisted suicides would be fully covered.

As Wagner put it: The state “will pay to kill me but they will not give me medication to try and stop the growth of my cancer.”

Compassion! Coming soon, perhaps, to Canada, Vermont, and the UK.

#it’stheendoftheworldasweknowit

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

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