NOVEMBER 2016

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No to chemo – yes to suicide pills

Care Not Killing have reported that four months after assisted suicide became legal in California, insurers are no longer paying for life saving or extending treatments, but are happy to pay out for assisted suicide drugs.@ The Washington Times reported the experience of Stephanie Packer, a mother of four with a terminal illness.@ She explains that her insurers had been willing to pay for a new drug for her, but once the news of the new assisted suicide bill was announced, her insurers changed their mind. When she rang to question the decision, she asked how easy and expensive it would be to obtain suicide pills, only to be told they were readily available for as little as $1.20. Ms. Packer also comments that once the right-to-die movement had started building momentum, the tone of her support groups for people dealing with terminal illness changed; “While the meetings were formerly positive and encouraging, she said the specter[sic] of suicide now hangs above them like a dark cloud. ‘And people, once they become depressed, it became negative, and it started consuming people…and then they said ‘You know what? I wish I could just end it.’” A similar experience was reported by terminally ill patients in The Telegraph, back in February 2009, where the author argues that “the Oregon experiment shows how easily the “right to die” can become a “duty to die” for depressed and vulnerable patients.@