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Over the past several years there has been attempts to convince vulnerable individuals that some lives are not worth living. This often plays on the consciences of individuals and families. More and more we have switched our belief that death is something to be avoided even at great costs, to suffering is to be avoided because it is less expensive.
Here is a sample from one woman's true story as reported by ABC news:
The news from Barbara Wagner's doctor was bad, but the rejection letter from her insurance company was crushing.
The 64-year-old Oregon woman, whose lung cancer had been in remission, learned the disease had returned and would likely kill her. Her last hope was a $4,000-a-month drug that her doctor prescribed for her, but the insurance company refused to pay.
But under the insurance plan, she can the only receive "palliative" or comfort care, because the drug does not meet the "five-year, 5 percent rule" -- that is, a 5 percent survival rate after five years.
What the Oregon Health Plan did agree to cover, however, were drugs for a physician-assisted death. Those drugs would cost about $50.
Some might say that the plan offered her a compassionate and cost effective way out. The cancer would probably kill her anyway. Well everyone is going to die anyway so why spend so much on health care?
It is because we value our lives. We want to live as long as possible, or at least have some say when it is time to stop fighting. In the above case, the woman was given no choice, her freedom was taken away by the state of Oregon. In fact she was effectively told that she had a duty to die for the sake of cost effectiveness.
A 2005 New England Journal of Medicine study found the drug erlotinib, marketed as Tarceva, does marginally improve survival for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who had completed standard chemotherapy.
We should never give up our freedom for the sake of saving some one else's money or convenience.