Human Exceptionalism

NYT: “Aged, Frail and Denied Care by Insurers”

This New York Times story about the poor treatment received by the elderly at the hands of long term health care insurers is important. From the story:

Tens of thousands of elderly Americans have received life-prolonging care as a result of their long-term-care policies. With more than eight million customers, such insurance is one of the many products that companies are pitching to older Americans reaching retirement.

Yet thousands of policyholders say they have received only excuses about why insurers will not pay. Interviews by The New York Times and confidential depositions indicate that some long-term-care insurers have developed procedures that make it difficult–if not impossible–for policyholders to get paid.

Such stories vividly demonstrate two things: First the context in which assisted suicide would be practiced is dysfunctional and would lead to people being pushed out of the lifeboat. Second, despite running many stories of this kind, the editorial writers of most mainstream newspapers ignore these very matters when they tout “choice” in support of assisted suicide.

This is what I call “euthanasia world.” Media will rail against HMOs and the number of uninsured. Then when the topic turns to assisted suicide, suddenly every doctor is Marcus Welby, MD (for the young among you or those from outside the country, Welby was a television doctor who never charged his patients and who made house calls during which he solved all of their medical problems). And every family is the Waltons (for the young and those from outside the country, the Waltons was an idealized family first made famous in a book and then in a television series. Everyone took care of and loved each other selflessly during the Depression.)

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