Given its source, a publication of Claremont McKenna College, not
exactly a hotbed of radicalism, this article urging health care cost
containment as a reason to legalize euthanasia captures a
justification for assisted suicide that is ever lurking in the
background of the debate. From “The Economic Argument for Euthanasia,”
by Charlie Sprague:
America has serious health care problems, and as
Paul Krugman makes
clear in a recent column, serious cost control in the health care
industry needs to be a top priority in reform. President Obama and
Congressional Democrats seem poised to push for major health care
reform in the upcoming months. One idea that politicians on neither the
left nor the right will touch due to political sensibilities, however,
could be the easiest way to save billions of dollars without affecting
health care quality at all: legalizing euthanasia.
As every good CMCer with an understanding of
economics should know,
those with terminal illnesses are resource sinks for society. End of
life care is incredibly expensive due to the frequency of
hospitalizations, the increased need for specialists’ attention, etc.
Those with terminal illnesses have even more expensive health care
needs. Obviously, those in the final stages of a terminal illness are
no longer in any position to contribute economically to society. Their
continued existence may be personally meaningful to the those who love
them, but from a economic perspective they are all cost and no benefit.
If this is a parody, it just proves the Smith Maxim on Satire and the
Culture of Death: They always catch up to you. Look how Oregon Medicaid
has already denied chemotherapy to cancer patients but offered to pay
for their assisted suicides. Moreover, some real euthanasia
have already made the argument. Thus, Derek Humphry and Mary Clement
adopted the save-money-by-killing-the-sick argument, on page 333 of
their book, Freedom to Die:
A rational argument can be made for allowing PAS
[physician-assisted suicide] in order to offset the amount society and
family spend on the ill, as long as it is the voluntary wish of the
mentally competent terminally and incurably [note: not the same thing
as terminal] ill adult. There will likely come a time when PAS becomes
a commonplace occurrence for individuals who want to die and feel it is
the right thing to do by their loved ones. There is no contradicting
the fact that since the largest medical expenses are incurred in the
final days and weeks of life, the hastened demise of people with only a
short time left would free resources for others. Hundreds of billions
of dollars could benefit those patients who not only can be cured but
also want to live.
And don’t forget the radical environmentalists are looking toward
instituting increased abortion and euthanasia as a way of reducing
human population and “saving the planet.” Alas: This article may
parody, but it is already behind the times.
The Left Begins to “Get” The Threat of
Futile Care Theory: Mickey Kaus Wants To Decide For Himself
Contact: Wesley J. Smith
Date: June 22, 2009
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human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that
every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is
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