Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Barbara Wagner Faces Official Darkness in Oregon

Euthanasia is not a pleasant idea to think about or discuss.

Well, we better discuss it anyway, because it’s coming to a state near you sooner than you think.

We already have legalized euthanasia in Oregon.

It’s on the ballot in Washington State this November. It’s creeping into the California legislature.

But back to Oregon, where death making is sanctioned by law.

Barbara Wagner has lung cancer. Her oncologist prescribed medication. Nothing wrong with that.

But, folks, read on: Oregon Death Apparatchiks to the rescue.

Barbara has an Oregon medical insurance plan, which, of course, had to agree to pay for the drug.

Nope, no can do.

OK, something wrong with that, but many of us have had to wrangle with medical insurance desk jockeys. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

In the name of decency and human dignity, one would have thought that, with lung cancer, the insurers would have made some accommodation to make the medication available.

Nope, no can do. No medicine for lung cancer.

BUT, to be fair, the state health plan DID offer an accommodation - read on, if you dare (some of you will know what’s coming next):

Barbara got a letter informing her that in place of offering her the drug, the state would be happy to cover medical palliative (comfort) care for her condition. Oh, and, by the way, they also offered to pay for the costs involved if she chose to go the route of assisted suicide (did I mention this is legal in Oregon?)  

We better start talking about this. There’s a serious, catastrophic, societal, and moral failure when big government won’t help you live, but is happy to help you die. 

62 comments:

lizzie said...

This story has left a cold dread creeping down my back. And worse is coming. Read "The Giver" if you dare!

Anonymous said...

I thought we taxed cigarettes so we could provide these people with medical care? I also thought that was why we sued the cigarette companies, to fund health care? So where is the money going if it isn't going to treat those suffering from lung cancer?

Anonymous said...

The drug in question is expensive and studies show minimal survival benefit. Wagner received the drug, because the drug company gave it to her. On it, she survived for 4 months, which is the mean survival time for patient who did not receive it.

Let's take another example of "death panels." Years ago, there were committees to decide who qualified for renal dialysis. The panels usually comprised of a clergyman, politician, doctor, and a few other citizens. The committee would use various factors to decide who would be suited for dialysis, like, age, family members, employment, etc.. Those who were not selected, were left to die from their renal disease. And private health insurance company would not pay for renal dialysis -- too experimental and too too expensive. This of course limited the amount of dialysis machines made because the companies making them couldn't make enough money. Then renal transplants became feasible, thousands were denied because the health insurance industry said the procedures were "experimental."

Finally after years of thousands of patient dying from end stage renal disease, those "nefarious minions of government" decided that all patients with end stage renal disease would be eligible for Medicare. Today, no one dies because they cannot get treatment for their renal disease, thanks to Medicare and your Federal government.

Anonymous said...

And that, as Paul Harvey used to say, is the rest of the story. Tank you, poster.

The Wagner story is the worst the anti-healthcare reform people can come up?

Compare that to example after example of bad behavior on the part of American insurance conglomerates and there should be no contest.

Anonymous said...

Medicare is going bankrupt. You can throw the argument of the renal transplants out there because of the percentage of people who use it. Everyone has been taxed at this point to pay for Medicare. It is going bankrupt now! What happens when everyone is on the government option, single payer, whatever you want to call it? You will see that statement of no one is dying from lack of treatment of their renal disease to be non-existent. I have read the horror stories of Socialized Medicine in other countries. The facts are there! What we have is not perfect but it's way better than anything the government could ever provide.

Anonymous said...

You can't sue the government for denying medical care under the plan proposed by the government. However, you can sue insurance companies. Also, insurance companies need people who choose to sign with them for there income. Too many dissatisfied customers and their going to loose customers. Under the forced government option, you have no way of forcing them to give you better service or service at all. I don't want to give up the higher ground I have with the insurance companies. I'd rather fight them.

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