We often hear the “choice” word thrown about in assisted suicide advocacy. But there is another “C-word” that needs more discussion: Context. Assisted suicide in the USA would be implemented amidst profound inequalities regarding access to quality care.
This story is a case in point. It turns out (Surprise! Surprise!) that African-Americans fare worse in the American health care system than other patient categories–even when they have the same insurance policies. “The most striking gap identified by the study’s authors was in patients who had suffered serious heart problems. The researchers found that while 72 percent of white patients with previous heart disease had their cholesterol under control, only 57 percent of blacks did. Black patients were also less likely to have their blood pressure and blood sugar well controlled, according to the study published in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association.”
Does anyone think that this (and a concomitant bias against people with disabilities) would not impact the application of assisted suicide? Or for that matter, futile care theory, dehydration of the cognitively impaired, and etc.?
Our emphasis must be on promoting a culture in which the intrinsic value of every human being is acknowledged and protected. Current trendy bioethics issues go in exactly the wrong direction and mark a distinct threat to universal human equality.