@16 Geov …
Geov, I read your paen to I-1000 with great respect and I share your feeling about the right to choose death. My opposition to I-1000 is not about the right to choose death, but to a law that I see as deeply flawed.
Let me address only one issue .. the issue of patients being forced to choose between a $50 death cocktail and overwhleming bills for terminal care.
I mispoke about Medicare .. even I am on Medicare though I do not use it because i have other coverage. However, as you know, Medicare does not provide complete coverage. care beyond Medicare require either private insurance or a means test. Because the extra insurance can be VERY expensive, social worlers and fiscal planners make a living “assisting” old people to impoverish themselves to qualify for state aid.
So, the threat of impoverishment ios very real and actually rather common at least amongst my acquaintances.
By the way, you also mispoke. You attribute words to me that I have not, to my knowedge, used:
The “the ill will get pressured to kill themselves” line
. Perhpas you did not intend the quotes to attribute these words to me? I hope so and I agree this has not yet happend in Oregon.
That said, I do think there is reason to believe the law will go awry. As I assume you know, one Oregon patient received a letter from her HMO refusing terminal care but telling her the HMO would pay for the suicide cocktail. The reaction to this horrid letter was even worse. The employee who sent the letter was punished! BUT, the letter told the truth. This woman was, to use extreme language, “sentenced” by the Oregon system to a choice between suicide and an unpleasant death because the insurance company would not pay for the drugs she needed. It seems to me, the employee did the woman a service.
So, as I tried to discuss with nancy, I suggest there are much better ways to give patients this choice. A better law would take the responsibility for making this decision out of the hands of physicians, preserve the patient’s privacy in this difficult time, minimize the bureaucracy, and address the much greater needs in the community of people with severely disabling chronic diseases.