Human Exceptionalism

Quebec Short Shrifts Senior Care As Euthanasia Pushed

It never ceases to amaze me how people fail to connect dots.  In recent weeks, we’ve seen a big push to legalize euthansia in Quebec. Yet, as a medical advisory counsel has recommended turning killing into a legal “medical treatment,” the province is is short shifting the kind of senior care that could prevent an elderly person from wanting to be made dead. From the Montreal Gazette story:

QUEBEC – In 2003, the Quebec government instituted a policy favouring home  care for the elderly and disabled over long-term care institutions, but  complaints are growing that the government is not delivering on its  commitment. Provincial ombudsman Raymonde Saint-Germain has found that while Quebec’s  home-care policy does not allow the government to deprive anyone of home-care  services, some people needing help to remain in their homes are excluded, others  have their service reduced, waiting lists are getting longer and caregiver  burnout is growing among family members. “There are not enough resources,” Saint-Germain told The Gazette in a  telephone interview explaining the conclusions of her March 30 report, Is home  support always the best option?

This also illustrates the problems associated with single payer:

Beyond the effects a loss of home care has on individual seniors, the penny  pinching sets off a chain reaction in the health-care system. Seen by the government as a way to relieve waiting lists and to reduce  overcrowding in hospital emergency rooms, cuts in home care amplify the problem,  as people who could live at home take up short-term-care beds. Erin Strumpf, a McGill University health economist, says health care should  be provided as efficiently as possible to optimize the use of scarce resources  and improve health outcomes.

This is what I call Euthanasia World. When E is the topic, we hear it will be practiced only in caring, supportive, and abuse-free environments.  But in the real world, that is never true.  In the real world, elder abuse is rising, medical budgets are being cut, and the equal value of human life is under assault.

Imagine, Quebec, what could happen if when euthanasia is seen as a way of saving scarce healthcare resources.  Take Heed! Faire attention!

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