California Legalizes Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill
To clarify the subtlety between physician assisted suicide and euthanasia:
Physician-assisted suicide refers to the physician providing the means for death, most often with a presciption. The patient, not the physician, will ultimately administer the lethal medication. Euthanasia generally means that the physician would act directly, for instance by giving a lethal injection, to end the patient’s life.
Despite being on the ‘right’, perhaps a good argument can be made for assisted suicide as a way to lower healthcare costs. Studies have shown that end-of-life care disproportionately contributes to health care costs in the United States:
I was pleasantly surprised to find that 41% of Republicans, according to a Gallup poll, support assisted suicide:
So being pro-euthanasia not as ‘liberal’ as some may assume. Part of the problem is the belief shared by both sides of the aisle that ‘every life is worth saving’. Lives stop being sacred/worth saving when they pose a threat to others or are too expensive, as shown by how 1% of the population contributes 20% to healthcare spending:
This is like reverse-Darwinism, survival of the un-fittest. We’re wasting tens of billions of taxpayer dollars a year keeping people alive who, in essence, are natures ‘mistakes’. If you have a lot of money and want to be kept alive another six months or so, fine…it’s your money, but not at taxpayer expense. The same liberals who call themselves ‘pro science’, their belief in Darwinism and survival of the fittest doesn’t apply in real life, as shown, for example, by the leftist outrage over UK TV presenter Katie Hopkin’s observation that allocating public hospital beds to dementia patients is a waste of public healthcare resources.
The only argument I think of for costly, tax-payer funded medical procedures is if they are for research purposes in the hope that successful treatments will lead to lower costs in the future for certain rare and costly diseases, but as evidenced by exploding health care costs, we’re far from that. Public healthcare should be prioritized to, first, American citizens, not illegals; second, to those who have conditions that are are most amenable to therapy; and, finally, for more expensive and difficult produces that involve scarcity such organ transplants, by IQ, with donor waiting lists ranked by IQ. All else being equal, it’s a better use of resources giving a higher IQ person priority over a lower IQ person.
Some argue that the free market will fix healthcare, but the system as it stands right now is out of control. Healthcare has become more like palliative care, spending billions prolonging lives long after they have stopped being useful. From an economic perspective, that sounds very inefficient that even a free market can’t fix it. In eliminating the social safety net, people who cannot afford healthcare would have to find way to raise funds through charity or family and friends, have insurance, pay out of pocket, or simply not get access to healthcare. Since many people, understandably , find the idea of letting sick or injured people who cannot afford treatment die to be repugnant, the role of the government is to allocate a public pool of resources to these individuals. However, this goes back to the trade-off between saving lives and optimal resource allocation. Any time you have a public good, rationing of some form is necessary or costs will balloon, which is what’s happening right now.
Another problem is the issue of insurance; millions of Americans are uninsured, drawing from public resources at little cost to them. That’s kinda why I agreed with the idea requiring people to get insurance or else suffer some consequence, but there many factors that dissuade people from getting insurance:
Many people already have company healthcare plans.
People with insurance can sometimes become underinsured.
A lot of young people draw off their parent’s plans.
Young people typically don’t need insurance.
Older people have medicare; others have VA benefits.
Low-income people have medicade, as well access to emergency rooms.
Millions of insured Americans have had plans canceled due to Obamacare.
The ACA (affordable care act) requires that insurance companies redistribute the costs of covering unprofitable, high-risk members on everyone else, which resulted in the cancellation of millions of plans that didn’t meet the standards of the ACA:
Some policies are being canceled because the law is doing precisely what it was meant to do: create an insurance market where Americans share the cost of getting sick more broadly.
In Obamacare’s central bargain, insurance companies agreed to stop turning people away or charging them more for being sick, in exchange for everyone buying a minimum level of coverage…
To dismantle that system, the law sets new rules for health plans sold after 2013, limiting how much insurers can vary premiums by age, gender, or health status. The new plans must pay for at least 60 percent of members’ medical costs on average. They also have to provide 10 areas of coverage, called essential health benefits, such as hospitalization, mental health treatment, and maternity care. In the past, people buying health plans on their own, rather than through an employer, could lower their premiums by purchasing more limited policies. Now that all policies must provide comprehensive coverage, people who’d bought limited plans on the cheap are seeing their premiums go up.
That means men are paying for maternity care. Is that fair? No.
In addition to cancellations and high premiums, other problems associated with Obamacare include high co-pays and doctors opting out of Obamacare exchanges. The result is more emergency room visits at great cost to taxpayers.
Experts cite many root causes. In addition to the nation’s long-standing shortage of primary care doctors — projected by the federal government to exceed 20,000 doctors by 2020 — some physicians won’t accept Medicaid because of its low reimbursement rates. That leaves many patients who can’t find a primary care doctor to turn to the ER — 56% of doctors in the ACEP poll reported increases in Medicaid patients.
State Medicaid costs are out of control.
Making euthanasia legal in the United States, as well as making physician assisted suicide legal in more states could dramatically lower healthcare costs and improve quality of live for caregivers. Doctors should encourage euthanasia and administer it themselves, perhaps with involuntary euthanasia in certain cases like in dementia.