Human Exceptionalism

Pay People to be Euthanized Early!

Money is a big part of the euthanasia issue, and increasingly so. If cost saving is the essential public health policy paradigm, what could be cheaper than killing as a “medical treatment?”

The San Francisco Chronicle published a column in pursuit of euthanasia as a cost saver, arguing that society should pay people to agree to have themselves euthanized early when they become seriously ill. From, “Euthanasia can be an Economic Decision Made Early,” by economics professor Robert Leeson

At the beginning and the end of a working life, individuals should be free to decide about such matters. At the beginning, there might be a choice between buying end-of-life insurance (maybe with pre-tax dollars) in return for a reduction in the Medicare tax; or accepting that end-of-life costs will be charged to – and recouped from – their estate. And at the end of a working life: a choice between receiving end-of-life care, or allocating those funds to grant oneself a metaphorical “immortality.”

For those opting out, such “immortality” could be provided through an annuity – an eternal income to a worthy cause of the individual’s choosing (a “named” scholarship, an annual charitable contribution, etc.). The end-of-life privately insured could be offered a cash payout in return for surrendering their policy. (Or public and private insurance could offer both choices.)

And for those who opt to live? Well, do that, and expect to die in pain because Medicare and insurance shouldn’t pay for the medical services:

A prolonged death can drain more than societal resources; it can be traumatic for those who lose their parents and loved ones long before the funeral. Even if some final-year expenditures produce measurable benefits, these have to be weighed against alternative uses. There can be no objection to someone choosing to self-fund palliative care; neither can there be an objection to the taxpayer choosing to fund, for example, better infant mortality outcomes than end-of-life expenses.

Good grief! Everything is not a “market!”

But this is the insidious logic of euthanasia. Once you are a “drain” on society, it’s time to go!

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

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