Video: Oregon says no to chemotherapy, offers assisted suicide instead

posted at 8:50 am on August 3, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

We knew it would come to this when Oregon insisted on passing its assisted-suicide laws. It doesn’t take much for assisted suicide to go from a humane option to a cost-saving device, especially when the state pays for the medical care. One patient in Oregon got a letter that made this all too clear, when in the same letter rejecting her request for life-extending chemotherapy, Oregon offered her “physician-aid-in-dying”. In other words, Oregon offered their customer a heapin’ helping of death:

The doctor interviewed by the news station seems offended at the suggestion that Oregon would decide to save a few bucks by denying expensive health care and offering a case of hemlock in its place. However, saving money was the raison d’etre of single-payer systems, and the incentives all drive towards that decision. Single-payer systems have to handle medical services as a shortage market, rationing them by using “comparative effectiveness” paradigms to determine who gets medical attention, and who gets “physician-aid-in-dying” instead of it.

The woman who drew the short end of the stick in this case wonders who these people think they are. They think they know better than us who needs to live and die. Has that lesson still not been made clear?

Update: I got this link yesterday and the KATU page is undated, but this story is from 2008, which I didn’t realize until I got an e-mail about it. I wrote about this last June, and I simply didn’t recall it.


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Wait, they say this WONT be part of Government-run healthcare plans.

Obviously you are just fear-mongering cuz you hate Obama trying to fix everything.

Neo on August 3, 2009 at 8:53 AM

think of the carbon reductions! The benefits are endless.

rob verdi on August 3, 2009 at 8:54 AM

As I just wrote a few minutes ago in the Telegraph story in Headlines, the goal of many in gov’t is more suicides, therefore fewer Social Security payments.

jgapinoy on August 3, 2009 at 8:54 AM

liberal343 will be happy. That means more money for her and her liberal friends.

Liberal motto: Kill off the old folks and spend the money on us!

darwin on August 3, 2009 at 8:56 AM

this reminds me of killing off perfectly good cars.

kelley in virginia on August 3, 2009 at 8:56 AM

http://www.pajamadeen.com/health/teen-dies-after-cigna-denies-liver-transplant

Cigna denied a liver transplant to a cancer survivor and the teen died.

Now they are being sued.

It’s bad enough, having to fight insurance company bureaucracies. What is it going to be like when the government can routinely deny treatment and there is no recourse whatsoever?

Get government OUT of healthcare entirely!

heldmyw on August 3, 2009 at 8:57 AM

No, it hasn’t been made clear. For too many people, solidarity with their politicians is more important than what those politicians do. Its too bad more people don’t think for themselves.

billypaintbrush on August 3, 2009 at 8:58 AM

the slippery slope has begun….

*sigh*

cmsinaz on August 3, 2009 at 8:59 AM

“New chemotherapy drugs can extend life”
Drugs which would not have been developed anywhere except in a free market.

jgapinoy on August 3, 2009 at 8:59 AM

Once the leftists kill off the old folks … who’s next?

Kill of the disabled? Kill off the mentally handicapped? Kill off the Christians? Kill off the Jews?

This is how Hitler’s eugenics program started out (with help and advice from American progressives of course!).

darwin on August 3, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Sounds like Oregon is striving to emulate Canada:

[...]

As in Canada, the best way to cut medical costs is to refrain from using the best drugs to treat cancer and other illnesses, thereby economizing at the expense of patients’ lives. Forty-four percent of the drugs approved by the Canadian health authorities for use in their country are not allowed by the healthcare system due to their high cost. As a result, death rates from cancer are 16 percent higher in Canada than in the United States. [...] (And remember, one cannot opt out of the Canadian system and pay for the medications out of pocket.)

[...]

Link

Xiphos on August 3, 2009 at 9:01 AM

Please for the love of Pete let this go viral!… the is Exactly what we can look forward to in the future if this so called govt health care insurance gets passed! If this isn’t a call to all to make a stand i dont know what will. Apathy kills!

Odel Roo on August 3, 2009 at 9:02 AM

What kind of a moron actually thinks it won’t come to this? Oh, wait, lefty ones.

johnsteele on August 3, 2009 at 9:03 AM

I wouldn’t mind knowing the name of the person who ultimately made the decision in this case. As John McCain said “we’ll make them Famous”. So just who is the Oregon state executioner?

Dreadnought223 on August 3, 2009 at 9:03 AM

this reminds me of killing off perfectly good cars.

kelley in virginia on August 3, 2009 at 8:56

AM

That’s what I said to my wife this morning, ‘Cash for Clunkers’ is a perfect analogy for ObamaCare:

Cash for Clunkers – extremely complicated.
ObamaCare – extremely complicated.

Cash for Clunkers – Over budget, Congress approves more.
ObamaCare – Over budget, Congress approves more.

Cash for Clunkers – Destroy running, older cars.
ObamaCare – ‘End-of-life’ option discussions.

PatMac on August 3, 2009 at 9:03 AM

This is what will happen under ObamaCare.

dmnari on August 3, 2009 at 9:04 AM

Who did Ms. Wagner vote for? As callous as it sounds, Oregon voters are getting what they asked for. They were warned numerous times that if you give Democrats the option, they will opt to kill the old and infirm instead of caring for them.

This situation is one of the numerous monsterous problems people are warning about with a state run health care system. Her situation should be played, and replayed on every station in the country, just to show people what they will be getting.

Rode Werk on August 3, 2009 at 9:04 AM

We need to save those expensive drugs for the important people like Obama, Piglosi, and Reid.

Stupid little peasants just don’t know what’s good for them.

John Doe on August 3, 2009 at 9:05 AM

Oh wow! Oregon is such a progressive state. I’m moving there!

NOT!

ladyingray on August 3, 2009 at 9:05 AM

darwin on August 3, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Remember, most liberals were absolutely dumbstruck when they found out that Sarah Palin never even considered aborting Trig.

What gets me is that people fail to realize that Democrats are the party that endorses eugenics-by-abortion as proposed by Margaret Sanger.

Vic on August 3, 2009 at 9:05 AM

Assisted suicide = obamanomics.

the_nile on August 3, 2009 at 9:05 AM

Get ready, this will be the fate of every senior and all those that will someday be seniors. Oh . . . and it could also happen to others that are terminal or seriously ill . . . it’s cost effectiveness decision you know. People had better stop this mad man lest they’ll see many Soylent Green factories under construction. Thank you enlightened voters, you really stuck it to us this time.

rplat on August 3, 2009 at 9:06 AM

Rationing HC in OR is nothing new. Its only now becoming a flashpoint because of BO’s masterplan to destroy this nation. Having a flunky gov’t official making God decisions will be a nightmare!

jbh45 on August 3, 2009 at 9:06 AM

If I were in the lady’s position, I might be tempted to respond that “physician-aid-in-dying” offer with a “patient-aid-in-dying” counteroffer to whomever sent her that letter. (“You want me to what? You’d better sleep with the lights on!”) But that’s just old fashioned self preservation kicking in and prolly not in line with this brave new world we entered last election.

apostic on August 3, 2009 at 9:06 AM

PatMac

Speaking of cash for clunkers… can’t beat this…

CASH FOR CLUNKERS

Odel Roo on August 3, 2009 at 9:08 AM

I used to think that movie Logan’s Run was a campy farce. Little did I know that it might serve as a model for government healthcare.

My mom is getting up there in age. I guess I’ll send her a different birthday card this year: “Happy Birthday. You are no longer cost-effective.”

SailorDave on August 3, 2009 at 9:08 AM

I might be tempted to respond that “physician-aid-in-dying” offer with a “patient-aid-in-dying” counteroffer to whomever sent her that letter.

LOL!

jgapinoy on August 3, 2009 at 9:08 AM

Good thing the AARP is supporting Obamacare

rob verdi on August 3, 2009 at 9:08 AM

this reminds me of killing off perfectly good cars.
kelley in virginia on August 3, 2009 at 8:56 AM

Cash for Croakers

No Niks on August 3, 2009 at 9:09 AM

Can’t imagine what life will be like in America, when we are forced to travel into Mexico in order to get the medical treatment we need that our own government refuses to give us.

Keemo on August 3, 2009 at 9:09 AM

Good thing the AARP is supporting Obamacare

rob verdi on August 3, 2009 at 9:08 AM

The percentage of unions that are leftist is higher than the percentage of birds that can fly.

jgapinoy on August 3, 2009 at 9:10 AM

Nazi is short for National Socialism. Eugenics was a way of eliminating those who were considered inferior mentally and physically. Nazis have been dormant for years. Is this a resurgence in a return to the Fourth Reich?

volsense on August 3, 2009 at 9:10 AM

Soylent Green is people!

Someone had to say it.

kingsjester on August 3, 2009 at 9:10 AM

you know, we are smart enough to realize that these incidences should be put on billboards, TV, radio, websites, radio ads, etc. what about our Republican Reps? the RNC?

kelley in virginia on August 3, 2009 at 9:10 AM

“Bring out yer dead”
“I’m not dead yet”
Tragic but true. I cannot believe this is happening in America.

RobCon on August 3, 2009 at 9:10 AM

I wonder if voting records will enter into their decision as to who lives and who dies?

cjtony97 on August 3, 2009 at 9:11 AM

We’re about to enter the sick world of the Democrat being.
Innocent life in the unborn is doomed to death. The elderly are doomed to death. The ill are doomed to dead.
The Democrat party is perhaps the most evil collection of people that have ever been on this planet. The National Socialists, the Communists under Stalin, Pol Pot, have nothing on this group. May Our Lord strike them all down and banish them to hell.

Jeff from WI on August 3, 2009 at 9:11 AM

Cash for Croakers

Good one . . . it made me laugh and cry at the same time.

rplat on August 3, 2009 at 9:12 AM

What gets me is that people fail to realize that Democrats are the party that endorses eugenics-by-abortion as proposed by Margaret Sanger.

Vic on August 3, 2009 at 9:05 AM

The democrat party has been taken over by progressives and they’re doing the same things they did before. Eugenics has always been at the core of their ideology. Anyone with half a brain can see abortion is their number one issue. They will sacrifice virtually everything to keep government funded abortion on demand.

Apparently they feel they can now expand their efforts to seniors. What the hell are young people thinking now? With each day that goes by they get closer to the time when the government will tell them they must die, if not earlier.

darwin on August 3, 2009 at 9:12 AM

Logan’s Run.

jgapinoy on August 3, 2009 at 9:12 AM

ah, come on! you don’t actually think they’ll deny treatment to those who vote against them, do you?

very sarcastic

kelley in virginia on August 3, 2009 at 9:12 AM

They want cradle (and not before) to grave (which they want to come faster) coverage.

What’s so wrong with that? /s

Abby Adams on August 3, 2009 at 9:13 AM

Anyone with half a brain can see abortion is their number one issue.

Clinton compromised on every issue except abortion-rights during his presidency.

jgapinoy on August 3, 2009 at 9:13 AM

I wonder if voting records will enter into their decision as to who lives and who dies?

cjtony97 on August 3, 2009 at 9:11 AM

Oh that will never happen!

/

ladyingray on August 3, 2009 at 9:14 AM

Abby Adams on August 3, 2009 at 9:13 AM

Cradle-To-Grave Care!
(fewer cradles & earlier graves)

jgapinoy on August 3, 2009 at 9:14 AM

The culture of Death. Politicians playing God with no clue of the consequences for it.

kingsjester on August 3, 2009 at 9:15 AM

I wouldn’t mind knowing the name of the person who ultimately made the decision in this case. As John McCain said “we’ll make them Famous”. So just who is the Oregon state executioner?

Dreadnought223 on August 3, 2009 at 9:03 AM

We saw one of the people involved in this decision making process in the video. I couldn’t help but notice that he had a problem looking either the interviewer in the eye or looking at the camera, instead gazing at the ceiling. Maybe that makes it easier to lie.

ProfessorMiao on August 3, 2009 at 9:15 AM

$100 on drugs for Suicide?!? WHAT THE HELL! Like those fascists of old we aren’t having the right discussion. We should move on to the final solution. A bullet’s cheaper than $100. Gassing undesirables is even cheaper than that. Didn’t the Nazi’s struggle with the cheapest way to off the most folks. Actually, if you put several Cancer patients in a straight line, with a high powered round, you can probably get about 6 or 7 of em with head shots….Then they can be moved straight to the Soylent factory.

lm10001 on August 3, 2009 at 9:16 AM

OT: Michelle is on Beck right now!

kingsjester on August 3, 2009 at 9:16 AM

ah, come on! you don’t actually think they’ll deny treatment to those who vote against them, do you?

very sarcastic

kelley in virginia on August 3, 2009 at 9:12 AM

No! Never! That thought never crossed my mind … after all, this is the United States of America and that can never happen here!

/gigantic sarc/

darwin on August 3, 2009 at 9:17 AM

Under Obamacare, my dog will have better healthcare options than I will.

ICBM on August 3, 2009 at 9:18 AM

As I approach my “golden” years, I look back at all the money the government has taken away in the form of taxes. But I didn’t fret much because I knew my personal responsibility to take care of myself wasn’t needed, my rich uncle had a plan in place, medicare and social security. Now it looks like my uncle has devised a way to renege on those promises. Guess I’m glad I didn’t rely on my uncle 100%.

SPIFF1669 on August 3, 2009 at 9:19 AM

i’m planning on attending at least one townhall meeting. what about everyone on this site?

kelley in virginia on August 3, 2009 at 9:20 AM

kelley in virginia on August 3, 2009 at 9:20 AM

yepper

cmsinaz on August 3, 2009 at 9:20 AM

Absolutely disgusting.

TXMomof3 on August 3, 2009 at 9:22 AM

If you kill them, you don’t pay them their SS or Medicare.

Jeff from WI on August 3, 2009 at 9:22 AM

The doctor should be offended. It’s a ridiculous notion that people are being offered suicide to save money.

Frankly, I’m amazed that this idea is not laughed at out loud by all but those who probably should check out some mental health benefits for paranoia.

Terminal diseases do not always benefit from chemotherapy. The patient isn’t always right. And sometimes, we just have to accept that which we cannot change.

But cost-savings? Good grief.

AnninCA on August 3, 2009 at 9:22 AM

this reminds me of killing off perfectly good cars.

kelley in virginia on August 3, 2009 at 8:56 AM

Obamacare: Death for Clunkers.

Ted C. had the best comment several days ago:

Obamacare: Getting you SHOVEL READY.

Josiah on August 3, 2009 at 9:23 AM

the slippery slope has begun….
cmsinaz on August 3, 2009 at 8:59 AM

All due respect, almost 37 years ago.

I cannot believe this is happening in America.

RobCon on August 3, 2009 at 9:10 AM

Oh,
YES
WE
CAN

inviolet on August 3, 2009 at 9:23 AM

Lets make sure they practice what they are preaching and get pain pills for Chris Dodd!

Cybergeezer on August 3, 2009 at 9:23 AM

i’m planning on attending at least one townhall meeting. what about everyone on this site?

kelley in virginia on August 3, 2009 at 9:20 AM

Yes, and if the speakers are up in years people should ask them if it’s really worth keeping them around any longer. Ask them if they wouldn’t mind offing themselves so we could save some money and let someone younger get a chance to rule over us.

darwin on August 3, 2009 at 9:24 AM

Next winter, flu epidemic without a vaccine. (Unless you’re govt.or family member. 1918 all over again, just watch.

Jeff from WI on August 3, 2009 at 9:24 AM

The Reaper is Cheaper

dont taze me bro on August 3, 2009 at 9:24 AM

Next winter, flu epidemic without a vaccine. (Unless you’re govt.or family member. 1918 all over again, just watch.

Jeff from WI on August 3, 2009 at 9:24 AM

Just the “crisis” Obama would hoping for to invoke the recently written pandemic procedures and shove everything they want down our throats.

darwin on August 3, 2009 at 9:26 AM

inviolet on August 3, 2009 at 9:23 AM

duly noted…I was just thinking of OR’s law

cmsinaz on August 3, 2009 at 9:26 AM

I’d of liked to smack that lying piece of ….. “we don’t consider cost”….yeah…right…

Jeff from WI on August 3, 2009 at 9:26 AM

Just wait until the state starts offering money for your aborted fetus. Cash For Clumpers.

LibTired on August 3, 2009 at 9:26 AM

I’m in Canada. My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer at 60 years old. After tests and a biopsy, the oncologist refused treatment because, “It won’t help anyway.” My dad lived two months from the time of diagnosis. It’s common here for doctors to refuse to treat cases they deem hopeless, and yet, prisoners with “life sentences” receive life-saving organ transplants before law-abiding citizens.

What’s a life worth? Ask the Canadian Feds.

lili on August 3, 2009 at 9:26 AM

An “UNFORTUNATE interpretation” of the LETTER?!?!?!?!?

BASTARDS!

EVERY senior citizen should be forced to watch this poor woman’s interview, because a buttload of THEM voted for Obama.

tree hugging sister on August 3, 2009 at 9:26 AM

dont taze me bro on August 3, 2009 at 9:24 AM

excellent

cmsinaz on August 3, 2009 at 9:27 AM

AnninCA on August 3, 2009 at 9:22 AM

I hope you’ve figured out by now that the goal of “universal health care” is not health care.

darwin on August 3, 2009 at 9:27 AM

I might be tempted to respond that “physician-aid-in-dying” offer with a “patient-aid-in-dying” counteroffer to whomever sent her that letter.

LOL!

jgapinoy on August 3, 2009 at 9:08 AM

It is not funny at all. I really believe that you will see people take violent action when they or their loved ones are refused treatments by the government. At that point they have nothing to lose and may feel they can get some satisfaction from killing those that they believe are killing them. Americans are not generally known for stoically accepting mistreatment and many have the means to force others to “feel their pain”.

DamnCat on August 3, 2009 at 9:28 AM

Can’t imagine what life will be like in America, when we are forced to travel into Mexico in order to get the medical treatment we need that our own government refuses to give us.

Keemo on August 3, 2009 at 9:09 AM

If people start doing than, then we’ll finally get a border fence.

Rebar on August 3, 2009 at 9:28 AM

Cradle-To-Grave Care!
(fewer cradles & earlier graves)

jgapinoy on August 3, 2009 at 9:14 AM

Heheh. Good one. (Monday must be a good gallows humor day…)

apostic on August 3, 2009 at 9:28 AM

lili on August 3, 2009 at 9:26 AM

That’s horrible. Sorry for your loss, especially that way.

darwin on August 3, 2009 at 9:28 AM

If people start doing than, then we’ll finally get a border fence.

Rebar on August 3, 2009 at 9:28 AM

No doubt

darwin on August 3, 2009 at 9:29 AM

Don’t you remember Barack F. Kennedy’s famous line:

“Ask not what your country can do for you–ask how soon you can die for your country.”

Abby Adams on August 3, 2009 at 9:29 AM

Speaking of which, has the GOP started making attack ads using Obama’s quote of the day yesterday? Or the dim bulbs haven’t got it yet?

promachus on August 3, 2009 at 9:30 AM

We should all e-mail the networks and complain that Obama was not on last we and we refuse to watch their networks until they give him a weekly prime time show

BruceB on August 3, 2009 at 9:30 AM

At that point they have nothing to lose and may feel they can get some satisfaction from killing those that they believe are killing them.

Sorry, but when someone hands me the knife and tells me to do what’s best for society, my ability to go gentle into that good night might might be overriden by an odd desire to see the sun rise another day. Some people are fickle that way.

apostic on August 3, 2009 at 9:32 AM

Don’t you remember Barack F. Kennedy’s famous line:

“Ask not what your country can do for you–ask how soon you can die for your country.”

Abby Adams on August 3, 2009 at 9:29 AM

“I regret that you have but one life to lose for your country.”

LibTired on August 3, 2009 at 9:33 AM

Again we see the “unintended consequences” of idiotic legislation. We all have to suffer for self-rightous do-gooders that “know better”. I know there was a lot of controversy on the site recently regarding sentiments about Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd, and I have to say it was misplaced. Those buffoons are enjoying first class medical care while they continue to insist the rest of us go under belly cargo. In my book, that makes them truly undeserving of sympathy.

anniekc on August 3, 2009 at 9:33 AM

If people start doing than, then we’ll finally get a border fence.

Rebar on August 3, 2009 at 9:28 AM

The government does not build fences to keep people out they build fences to keep them in.

thomasaur on August 3, 2009 at 9:35 AM

“I regret that you have but one life to lose for your country.”

LibTired on August 3, 2009 at 9:33 AM

“I said, ‘Give me liberty or give me death!’, but they replied, ‘I’m sorry, we’ve run out of option #1 in the government rationing plan. Enjoy Heaven!’”

Abby Adams on August 3, 2009 at 9:36 AM

So do older, sick minorities scream RACISM and get treatment.
Obama’s REPARATIONS, one item at a time.

Jeff from WI on August 3, 2009 at 9:36 AM

Flee healthscare.

the_nile on August 3, 2009 at 9:36 AM

You guys all need to watch Red State video on moderate versus conservative.

It’s hilarious. And if being conservative means you have to buy into this absurd idea that healthcare wants to kill you to save money……

Then call me moderate. :)

AnninCA on August 3, 2009 at 9:39 AM

AnninCA on August 3, 2009 at 9:39 AM

You really think that rationing and letting people die WON’T occur?

blatantblue on August 3, 2009 at 9:43 AM

It’s hilarious. And if being conservative means you have to buy into this absurd idea that healthcare wants to kill you to save money……

Then call me moderate. :)

AnninCA on August 3, 2009 at 9:39 AM

Healthcare doesn’t want to kill you to save money. Far left lunatics do.

LibTired on August 3, 2009 at 9:43 AM

Can’t imagine what life will be like in America, when we are forced to travel into Mexico in order to get the medical treatment we need that our own government refuses to give us.

Keemo on August 3, 2009 at 9:09 AM

Get ready to jump the fence because I’m willing to bet it will be illegal to seek health care outside the system. To allow thousands of people to seek it elsewhere will make the system look bad and looking bad for liberals is about the worse thing imaginable.

jmarcure on August 3, 2009 at 9:43 AM

Then call me moderate. :)

AnninCA on August 3, 2009 at 9:39 AM

Rather, I think I will call you ignornant. And blind.

ladyingray on August 3, 2009 at 9:44 AM

It is not funny at all. I really believe that you will see people take violent action when they or their loved ones are refused treatments by the government. At that point they have nothing to lose and may feel they can get some satisfaction from killing those that they believe are killing them. Americans are not generally known for stoically accepting mistreatment and many have the means to force others to “feel their pain”.

DamnCat on August 3, 2009 at 9:28 AM

The problem is that it will be a faceless paper pusher that will be deciding based on economics. You will never know or be able to know the person that pulled the trigger. Besides if you did manage to take the right person with you to the grave the feds would make sure it would never happen again by having the death dealers protected in some way.

jmarcure on August 3, 2009 at 9:49 AM

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