Assisted Suicide Puts Pressure On The Elderly And Disabled

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By Diane Coleman

Anyone who has received a health insurance denial knows something about the cost cutting pressures in the health care system. I have good employer sponsored insurance, but just received my second denial in two years of breathing support I need to live. Given my severe neuromuscular diagnosis, it’s outrageous that I have to go through an appeal again.

When proponents of physician assisted suicide claim there’s no reason to be concerned about legalizing intentional medical provision of lethal drugs, I wonder what planet they are living on.

The arguments in a recent Another Voice column and a responding letter ignore the economic pressures that too often deny needed health care and home care to individuals and families. The column asks, “Would they want to die in their sleep, comfortable, surrounded by loved ones? Or would they rather be hooked up to hospital machines for days, suffering…,” falsely indicating that we don’t already have the right to refuse machines and hospitals in favor of palliative care that lets us die in our sleep. The proponent letter in response admits this, but tries to leverage current legal options into a “why not” argument for assisted suicide.

What they’re really talking about is throwing older, ill and disabled people under the bus, just as society has already been doing throughout the pandemic. Experience and reason tell us that, in a profit driven health care system, assisted suicide laws will only add pressures to die sooner than some of us would choose.

Diane Coleman, JD, MB is the President/CEO of Not Dead Yet.

Source: “Letter: Many would not choose physician assisted suicide,”

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