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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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.

The circumstance that the story is more than a year old matters only from a journalistic standpoint, the standpoint of one writing on the day’s events. You do not have to confine yourself to mere journalism. A year-old story is evidence that Americans of the right and center are not merely exciting fear by imagining a future “slippery slope.” Rather than leave the matter at an apology, it seems your reasonable next step is to find out how many other people have been offered the public plan–suicide.

Kralizec on August 3, 2009 at 2:17 PM

LIFEBOAT

Teacher: Good morning, class!

Class: Good morning, Mrs. Aryan.

Teacher: Today we’re going to play a game!

Class: Yay!

Teacher: This game is called Lifeboat. All together…29Victor on August 3, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Does everybody else remember this “game” from federal school? What an incredibly morbid excercise to put children through!

And even if the point of this were to give some bizarre sort of Donner Party survival lesson to kids, it would still be a giant pile of crap.

What always REALLY happens in situations like this? It’s the guy who’s making the decisions and giving the orders who survives at the expense of everyone else, regardless of how “fit” or “useful” they are.

I’m sure the ending of throwing out the teacher was intended as a joke. But it’s really the only moral response to the question.

logis on August 3, 2009 at 2:29 PM

Into “the showers” for the Fatherland.

viking01 on August 3, 2009 at 2:29 PM

I didn’t read all of these comments, but did anyone else notice that the original thread last year only generated a one single page of comments? Elections have consequences!

Oxrock on August 3, 2009 at 3:26 PM

“..less than $100.”

Wow, what a deal! And that $100 figure is a one-time cost. I vote for that. In fact, I think we should ratchet this up to the reducto ad absurdum: you get the flu, and they give you a loaded Ruger .22 (one bullet) so you can put one behind your own ear.

Now, that’s hope we can believe in!

VoyskaPVO on August 3, 2009 at 3:48 PM

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

Yeah, well they say a lot of things, slick, and to date it’s all been lies.

..and, yeah, I do hate Obama.

VoyskaPVO on August 3, 2009 at 3:51 PM

rhbandsp on August 3, 2009 at 10:22 AM

Wow, I was thinking the exact same scene and then I came across your post.

Obamacare in a nutshell. Thanks.

Sapwolf on August 3, 2009 at 4:00 PM

the Left never understands that real life is dynamic. They only see a static, zero-sum game. Of course that is helpful to them because then they get to be the umpire. So when the state medical bozo says they have to take from the women and give to others (for example, someone who’s broken their arm) he is a zero sum kinda guy.

And the umpire. Wow, how kool is that. And all the time your feeding of a massive capital that has been built up over decades by a great people.

you could never build a great country with these people…you can only be the umpire of decline.

r keller on August 3, 2009 at 4:17 PM

that should be “feeding off a massive capital”

r keller on August 3, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Wow, what a deal! And that $100 figure is a one-time cost. I vote for that. In fact, I think we should ratchet this up to the reducto ad absurdum: you get the flu, and they give you a loaded Ruger .22 (one bullet) so you can put one behind your own ear.

VoyskaPVO on August 3, 2009 at 3:48 PM

If this kind of nonsense keeps up, we’ll be lining up to put a bullet behind our senator’s ear.

Chaz706 on August 3, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Maybe we should find out if she smoked.

From what I’ve been reading and hearing on both sides of this debate we smokers have a duty to just die before we cost all the rest of you so much money.

Fine with me. I can think of a lot worse ways to go than getting a doctor to do it right. Heaven forbid I take advantage of healthcare insurance I’ve paid into for more than 30 years, and paid more for because I smoke, and have seldom used.

Jaynie59 on August 3, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Jaynie59, you are so right. However, under the new incentive plan, you get a refund on 50% of the cigarette taxes you paid, as long as you act before the funds are depleted.

By the way, is there a link to the actual letter that said that Wagner wouldn’t get money for treatment but would get money to off herself?

Ira on August 3, 2009 at 6:03 PM

Obama Care will have MANDATORY “end of life counseling” when a person reaches a certain age. The frequency of “counseling” rises with a persons age.

Jeff from WI on August 3, 2009 at 6:11 PM

Obama Care will have MANDATORY “family planning”counseling
to regulate the number of new infants. In addition, there will be MANDATORY parenting counseling.

Jeff from WI on August 3, 2009 at 6:12 PM

yep

allrsn on August 3, 2009 at 8:04 PM

Oregon is a sad, twisted, sick place.

johnnybgood on August 3, 2009 at 8:53 PM

If you really want to be paranoid, you should view the 1976 science fiction movie Logan’s Run.

In the movie, the answer to world overpopulation was to kill everyone when they reach 30 years of age.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan%27s_Run_(1976_film)

slp on August 3, 2009 at 9:20 PM

Off-topic—Sorry, but I’m steamed.

What’s with this “Share on Facebook” crap?

What happened to the “Send to a friend” (or whatever it was called) option?

I have no interest in Facebook, and neither do the people I want to send this post to.

MrLynn on August 3, 2009 at 9:24 PM

So the story is a year old. Anyone take the time to see if this lady is still alive? If so she could do a public speaking tour on Obamacare, and probably make enough money to pay for here meds without the insurance.

MikeA on August 3, 2009 at 9:51 PM

Somewhat OT:
Has anyone noticed that the retirement age is increasing whle Obamacare needs to institute age-based rationing to contain costs ala GB and Canada?
Is there some tipping point at which it is better to keep a job with health care and not retire to no health care? What a savings to the government if you die before you can collect retirement.

K

mad scientist on August 3, 2009 at 11:04 PM

My mother-in-law was just in surgery, when she signed the release they of course asked her if she wanted to choose “do not resuscitate”. She answered “Why would I want that?”

mad scientist on August 3, 2009 at 11:13 PM

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

I’m guessing that this moron has already been blown to pieces in this thread, but I have to say this to her anyway:

AnninCA, what you call “absurd” is EXACTLY what happens in places like Canada and Britain. I grew up in the UK and I know exactly what goes on within socialized health care. It’s just ridiculous to hear libs in denial of the reality of what state health care is actually like. I hear this a lot: “Don’t be stupid, that doesn’t really happen….you’re just scaremongering” Well, it DOES happen. You really, really, really should know that. It’ll be even worse in this country due to the fact that the rationing will have to take into consideration the tens of millions of non-taxpaying illegals that the Democrats are hell bent on providing free health care for. And these people will consume, believe me.

Sharke on August 4, 2009 at 12:35 AM

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.


How Progressive!!!!!!!

Baxter Greene on August 4, 2009 at 3:23 AM

Oregonians are showing their true spots. They do not want Californians or the elderly to pollute their self imposed gene pool.

MSGTAS on August 4, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Off-topic—Sorry, but I’m steamed.

What’s with this “Share on Facebook” crap?

What happened to the “Send to a friend” (or whatever it was called) option?

I have no interest in Facebook, and neither do the people I want to send this post to.

MrLynn on August 3, 2009 at 9:24 PM

I agree, to hell with Facebook. You couldn’t pay me to be in there.

Jeff from WI on August 4, 2009 at 12:32 PM

slp on August 3, 2009 at 9:20 PM

The irony is that the planet is not overpopulated…
It is something like you can place everyone in the world, in a 10 foot by 10 foot piece of land, and it would fill the state of Texas.
The rest of the world would be empty…

right2bright on August 4, 2009 at 1:04 PM

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

No, you are more liberal then a moderate…but it has nothing to do with being conservative or a liberal, it is basic math and understanding the government.
A bureaucrat could care less if you live or die, they don’t care if you get the pills you need, they only care about following rules, and guidlines.

right2bright on August 4, 2009 at 1:07 PM

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