Skip to comments.Oregon Offers Terminal Patients Doctor-Assisted Suicide Instead of Medical Care
Posted on 08/24/2009 3:55:56 PM PDT by CedarDave
PORTLAND, Ore. Some terminally ill patients in Oregon who turned to their state for health care were denied treatment and offered doctor-assisted suicide instead, a proposal some experts have called a "chilling" corruption of medical ethics.
Since the spread of his prostate cancer, 53-year-old Randy Stroup of Dexter, Ore., has been in a fight for his life. Uninsured and unable to pay for expensive chemotherapy, he applied to Oregon's state-run health plan for help.
Lane Individual Practice Association (LIPA), which administers the Oregon Health Plan in Lane County, responded to Stroup's request with a letter saying the state would not cover Stroup's pricey treatment, but would pay for the cost of physician-assisted suicide.
"It dropped my chin to the floor," Stroup told FOX News. "[How could they] not pay for medication that would help my life, and yet offer to pay to end my life?"
The letter, which has been sent to other terminal patients throughout Oregon, follows guidelines established by the state legislature.
Oregon doesn't cover life-prolonging treatment unless there is better than a 5 percent chance it will help the patients live for five more years but it covers doctor-assisted suicide, defining it as a means of providing comfort, no different from hospice care or pain medication.
"It's chilling when you think about it," said Dr. William Toffler, a professor of family medicine at Oregon Health & Science University. "It absolutely conveys to the patient that continued living isn't worthwhile."
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Barbara Wagner has one wish - for more time.
"I'm not ready, I'm not ready to die," the Springfield woman said. "I've got things I'd still like to do."
Her doctor offered hope in the new chemotherapy drug Tarceva, but the Oregon Health Plan sent her a letter telling her the cancer treatment was not approved.
Instead, the letter said, the plan would pay for comfort care, including "physician aid in dying," better known as assisted suicide.
"I told them, I said, 'Who do you guys think you are?' You know, to say that you'll pay for my dying, but you won't pay to help me possibly live longer?' " Wagner said.
But one critic of assisted suicide calls the message disturbing nonetheless. "People deserve relief of their suffering, not giving them an overdose," said Dr. William Toffler.
He said the state has a financial incentive to offer death instead of life: Chemotherapy drugs such as Tarceva cost $4,000 a month while drugs for assisted suicide cost less than $100.
Have they offered the same help to the US Congress and the Administration and their thug Army?
Sometimes the pharmaceutical manufacturers themselves will offer a steep discount or even free medication in tragic cases like this. It wouldn’t hurt for these people to ask.
Show me the first Senator or Representative who chooses “assisted suicide.”
This is how other countries spend so much less on healthcare
What about dialysis patients?
do socialist systems have dialysis?
"Mass. Pushes Rationing to Control Universal Healthcare Costs (RomneyCare)
A 10-member Massachusetts state healthcare advisory board unanimously recommended
that the state begin rationing healthcare to keep the states marquee universal health care program afloat financially.
The July 16 recommendations, the Boston Globe explained, would result in a situation where patients could find it harder to get procedures they want but are of questionable benefit if doctors are operating within a budget.
And they might find it more difficult to get care wherever they want, if primary doctors push to keep patients within their accountable care organization.
The Globe stressed that the recommendations would dramatically change how doctors and hospitals are paid, essentially putting providers on a budget as a way to control exploding healthcare costs and improve the quality of care.
"Budget" is a more politically acceptable word for rationing.
The Globe also noted that consumer advocates said patients are going to have to be educated about the new system. Yes, apparently they will have to get used to having their healthcare rationed.
"Massachusetts Universal Healthcare System Breaking Down Already
When Governor Mitt Romney instituted a universal healthcare plan for Massachusetts in 2006 he proclaimed it a conservative idea.
But has it worked? Has it been successful?
For a time, many thought it might but cracks in the system are already being seen.
These cracks are instructive as a lesson on how Obamacare will crash and burn just like Romneycare is now in the process of doing.
One of the early claims that helped push Romneycare through to law was the insistence by its supporters that Emergency Room visits would fall as more and more citizens became covered under healthcare insurance.
Since ER care is far more expensive than a doctor's care, it was thought that more people with insurance would ease the overcrowding of ERs as well as lower the overall costs of healthcare.
However, a flaw in this logic has been seen throughout the state. As more people became insured, more people demanded the care of doctors. These doctors became overloaded with patients and waiting lists for doctors got longer and longer.
As a result, ERs in Massachusetts have not seen a downturn in visits. On the contrary, it seems that ER visits are actually on the upswing in the Bay State. In fact, in 2007 they were higher than the national average by 20 percent...
"Hospital patients 'left in agony'"
"Patients were allegedly left screaming in pain and drinking from flower vases on a nightmare hospital ward.
Between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would have been expected at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust over three years, a damning Healthcare Commission report said.
The watchdog's investigation found inadequately trained staff who were too few in number, junior doctors left alone in charge at night and patients left without food, drink or medication as their operations were repeatedly cancelled.
Patients were left in pain or forced to sit in soiled bedding for hours at a time and were not given their regular medication, the Commission heard.
Receptionists with no medical training were expected to assess patients coming in to A&E, some of whom needed urgent care.
Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS, said there had been a "gross and terrible breach" of patients' trust and a "complete failure of leadership".
The Healthcare Commission's chairman Sir Ian Kennedy said the investigation followed concerns about a higher than normal death rate at the Trust, which senior managers could not explain.
He said: "The resulting report is a shocking story. Our report tells a story of appalling standards of care and chaotic systems for looking after patients. These are words I have not previously used in any report.
"There were inadequacies in almost every stage of caring for patients. There was no doubt that patients will have suffered and some of them will have died as a result."
Julie Bailey, 47, was so concerned about the care being given to her 86-year-old mother Bella at Stafford Hospital that she and her relatives slept in a chair at her bedside for eight weeks.
She said: "We saw patients drinking out of..."
"Paramedics told: 'Let accident victims die if they want to' in new row over patient rights (UK)"
Health Service paramedics have been told not to resuscitate terminally-ill patients who register on a controversial new database to say they want to die.
It has been set up by the ambulance service in London for hundreds of people who have only a few months to live so that they may register their 'death wishes' in advance.
It is believed to be the first in the country, but other trusts around the country are expected to follow suit to comply with Government guidelines which state that patients' wishes should be taken into account, even at the point of death.
Patients' groups and doctors have welcomed the scheme, but it has met opposition from pro-life groups who say it violates the sanctity of life.
The system would come into play if a cancer patient, for example, was in serious pain and rang 999 for help to alleviate the suffering.
But if the paramedics arrived and the patient was close to death, he or she would not be resuscitated if such a request was registered on the database.
This would also be the case if a patient on the database was being transferred between hospitals, and had a heart attack.
Dominica Roberts from the Pro-Life Alliance said: 'This is very sad and very dangerous. It's another step along the slippery slope, at the bottom of which is euthanasia as we see in Holland. 'Paramedics should be there to save lives. They should not be there to let patients die. The medical profession should not agree with someone's belief that their life is worthless.'"
"National Health Preview - The Massachusetts debacle, coming soon to your neighborhood."
"Three years ago, the former Massachusetts Governor had the inadvertent good sense to create the "universal" health-care program that the White House and Congress now want to inflict on the entire country.
It is proving to be instructive, as Mr. Romney's foresight previews what President Obama, Max Baucus, Ted Kennedy and Pete Stark are cooking up for everyone else.
In Massachusetts's latest crisis, Governor Deval Patrick and his Democratic colleagues are starting to move down the path that government health plans always follow when spending collides with reality -- i.e., price controls.
As costs continue to rise, the inevitable results are coverage restrictions and waiting periods. It was only a matter of time.
They're trying to manage the huge costs of the subsidized middle-class insurance program that is gradually swallowing the state budget.
The program provides low- or no-cost coverage to about 165,000 residents, or three-fifths of the newly insured, and is budgeted at $880 million for 2010, a 7.3% single-year increase that is likely to be optimistic.
The state's overall costs on health programs have increased by 42% (!) since 2006.
What really whipped along RomneyCare were claims that health care would be less expensive if everyone were covered.
But reducing costs while increasing access are irreconcilable issues.
Mr. Romney should have known better before signing on to this not-so-grand experiment, especially since the state's "free market" reforms that he boasts about have proven to be irrelevant when not fictional.
Only 21,000 people have used the "connector" that was supposed to link individuals to private insurers."
A Very Sick Health Plan; Bay States Grand Experiment Fails [RomneyCare]
"The Daily News Record, Harrisonburg, Va. - 2009-03-31 "
"For folks increasingly leery of President Obamas plan to radically overhaul Americas health-care system,
or 17 percent of the nations economy, all this could hardly have come at a better time
that is, fiscal troubles aplenty within Repubican Mitt Romneys brainchild, Massachusetts grand experiment in universal health care."
"Initiated on Mr. Romneys gubernatorial watch in 2006, this experiment has fallen on hard times, and predictably so.
Even though the Bay State commenced its program with a far smaller percentage of uninsured residents than exists nationwide,
RomneyCare is threatening to bankrupt the state. Budgeted for Fiscal Year 2010 at $880 million,
or 7.3 percent more than a year ago, this plan, aimed at providing low- or no-cost health coverage to roughly 165,000 residents,
has caused Massachusetts overall expenditures on all health-related programs to jump an astounding 42 percent since 2006.
So what does Mr. Romneys successor, Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, propose as a remedy for these skyrocketing costs?
Well, whaddya think? The standard litany of prescriptions (no pun intended) price controls and spending caps, for a start, and then, again predictably, waiting periods and limitations on coverage.
As in Europe and Canada, so too in Massachusetts. And, we feel certain, everyone from Mr. Romney to Mr. Patrick said, It would never happen here.
But then, such things are inevitable when best-laid plans, with all their monstrous costs, run smack-dab into fiscal reality.
Thousands of patients with terminal cancer were dealt a blow last night after a decision was made to deny them life prolonging drugs.
The Government's rationing body said two drugs for advanced breast cancer and a rare form of stomach cancer were too expensive for the NHS.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is expected to confirm guidance in the next few weeks that will effectively ban their use.
The move comes despite a pledge by Nice to be more flexible in giving life-extending drugs
to terminally-ill cancer patients after a public outcry last year over 'death sentence' decisions."
"Patients Forced To Wait Hours In Ambulances Parked Outside A&E Departments
"An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has found that thousands of 999 patients are being left to wait in ambulances in car parks and holding bays, or in hospital corridors in some cases for more than five hours before they can even join the queue for urgent treatment.
Experts warn that hospitals are deliberately delaying when they accept patients or are diverting them to different sites
in order to meet Government targets to treat people within fours hours of admitting them."
"Cancer survivor confronts the health secretary on 62-day wait (UK Socialized Medicine)
WAITING times for cancer treatment need to be cut, the Scottish Government was told yesterday.
..Cancer experts later said that patients elsewhere in Europe would be "outraged" by having to wait two months to start treatment, with most being seen within two weeks.
The current target of 62 days from urgent referral by a doctor to starting treatment has still not been met in Scotland, despite that originally being the target figure for 2005."
"Hospital patient so shocked at dirty ward she climbed out of bed to clean it herself
After 12 years cleaning care homes and private houses, no one is better qualified than Tereza Tosbell to say whether a room is spotless.
So hospital bosses should take heed of her opinion after she spent four days on a 'filthy' ward.
The mother-of-one said during her stay there was a single, brief visit from a cleaner who left dusty curtains, dirty bedframes and a messy floor.
Disgusted at the conditions, she grabbed the antibacterial fluid dispenser at the end of her bed and some hand towels from the bathroom.
She then set about cleaning her four-bed ward, at one point dropping to her hands and knees to sanitise the floor as she dragged her drip trolley behind her.
'It was shameful to see how sloppy the cleaners were while I was there. I was not prepared to put up with such conditions,'
said Miss Tosbell, a 48-year-old divorcee who was admitted to Colchester General Hospital in Essex with an abscess in her neck.."
"Kidney cancer patients denied life-saving drugs by NHS rationing body NICE (UK Socialized Medicine)
Thousands of kidney cancer patients are likely to lose out on life-prolonging drugs.
The NHS rationing body, NICE, has confirmed a ban on three out of four new treatments.
.. 'Families will be denied time together and doctors will be unable to give patients the best treatment.'."
"Girl, 3, has heart operation cancelled three times because of bed shortage (UK Socialized Medicine)
A three-year-old girl awaiting heart surgery has had her operation cancelled three times this month because of a shortage of beds.
... A hospital spokesman said that procedures would be reviewed, but the case highlights a growing problem of cancelled operations in the NHS.
More than 57,000 surgeries were postponed for non-clinical reasons, including a lack of beds, last year 10 per cent more than the previous year."
Not sure about quasi socialist systems like Canada and Britain, but in full fledged Communism it is an axiom that the gummit gets the spoils.
Didn’t Kevorkian go to jail and permanent disgrace for just this kind of behavior?
That was exactly what happened in the case of Ms. Wagner, who was cited in the article. She received her treatments for free from the manufacturer after her situiation became known...
I’d suggest to the panel making this disgusting decision that they take advantage of the suicide services and with the money saved by them not demanding health care services anymore they can pay for the medicines that I need.
Wouldn’t that be more in line with their (allegedly) sincere interest in public service than killing the people you are paid to serve?
That was exactly what happened in the case of Ms. Wagner, who was cited in the second article. She received her treatments for free from the manufacturer after her situiation became known...
Reading this literally turned my stomach.
Do you think there are any dialysis machines in Cuba and North Korea for regular citizens?? Probably a stupid question.
“Kevorkian.......this kind of behavior?”
No....every single one of his “assists” were to people who actually wanted to die and were terminal.....he denied no-one life extending treatment and coerced no-one into suicide.
It’s now a year later; any current information on her condition?
I’d doubt it.
Sounds like the citizens of Oregon have a little house cleaning to do.
It seems to me that electing Obama was “assisted suicide”...
So, you say, even Kevorkian would have refused to accept some of these hard up Oregon cases. Or would he? What did he do when opportunity beckoned intensely for him to discard what little principle he had left?