Arnold Williams (notebuyer) wrote,
Arnold Williams
notebuyer

State Health Insurance MEANS State Ethicists

Readers are familiar with my comments that advisers on medical ethics not only think very poorly about their own discipline, but reach unethical conclusions and advocate them.

Here's my latest: a patient in Oregon, with insurance operated by the state health fund, was told that the state would pay for drugs for assisted suicide rather than the drugs necessary to save her life. After all, assisted suicide was miles cheaper, and would end all complaints about her care and the messiness of being sick. The problem is not unique to Oregon: others have noticed, and I'm sure that state cost experts are deeply interested.

The balrog in the woodpile here is depression. Depression is one of the few treatable psychological disorders (with therapy and/or medication), and its presence can induce people to despair of life. And that despair should not be respected as a "wish" but treated as the illness it represents.
Tags: culture, ethics
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