Saturday, August 02, 2008

on oregon and death

nothing profound here, just a link to a fox news article. apparently, a guy was signing up for oregon's state-run health plan and instead of an offer to help treat his metastatic prostate cancer, he got a letter offering physician-assisted suicide! okay, there's more to it than that but that's the gist of the story.

chemo and other costly therapy for terminal illnesses or late-stage disease brings up a dilemma regarding whether patients should undergo these therapies even if they offer only minimal benefit (tack on a few months at the end of life). there was another interesting ny times article regarding this issue recently. in many places where the government is the provider, they make the decision for you--minimal benefit, we ain't gonna pay. being the capitalist that i am, it is definitely against my nature to say that having less choices makes life easier but that is the certainly the case in some situations, for sure (like oh my gosh). if you have ever shopped around for a flat-screen hdtv, you know what i'm talking about!