Barbara Wagner had recurrent lung cancer and Randy Stroup had prostate cancer. Both were on Medicaid, the state's health insurance plan for the poor that, like some NHS services, is rationed. The state denied both treatment, but told them it would pay for their assisted suicide. "It dropped my chin to the floor," Stroup told the media. "[How could they] not pay for medication that would help my life, and yet offer to pay to end my life?" (Wagner eventually received free medication from the drug manufacturer. She has since died. The denial of chemotherapy to Stroup was reversed on appeal after his story hit the media.)Here in Canada, the euthanasia bill had been introduced twice before - in 2005 and 2008. Both those times it died on the order paper when an election was called. This time however it could be different. While the proposed euthanasia bill hasn't been introduced yet, it's author, a BQ MP Francine Lalonde is #11 in line for the Order of Precedence. Therefore the proposed bill could move from the notice paper and to the second reading within months if not within weeks. And then we can only hope there are enough opposition MPs siding with the Conservatives to vote it down.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Looks like in some states, what began as a "right to die" has evolved into a "duty to die". Of course, the initiatives to legalize assisted suicide for the terminally ill have been around for decades. But with the upcoming massive retirement of the "baby boomer" generation which would drive up the costs of health care and social assistance as well as with new trend in the environmentalist movement when depopulation (starting from the developed countries) is regarded as a way to "save the planet", the threat of euthanasia becoming not just legal but also - compulsory, is becoming real.