Human Exceptionalism

With NHS in Financial Hole, Legalizing Assisted Suicide Would Be Utter Folly

This story reveals that Britain’s National Health Service, the socialized funder of medical care in the UK, is running deeply in the red. Some hospital wards are closing, surgeries may be delayed, and cost cutting is the order of the day.

I have always worried that money would become a big part of assisted suicide here in the USA if it ever took hold, what with HMO’s making profits from cutting costs, which too often means, cutting levels of care. Considering that the drugs for an assisted suicide would cost less than $100, and that those most likely to want to be overdosed would mostly be the most expensive to care for, the economic forces of gravity are obvious.

I have believed, perhaps naively, that the financial pressures pushing toward a system permitting euthanasia in a more nationalized system would be less acute, and certainly less direct. No more. Consider the possibilities of the NHS rationing and delaying care due to deficits, and the fact that assisted suicide, if legalized, would never be rationed. Indeed, it could become the “treatment” of choice for overstressed doctors working in a badly under funded health care system.

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