Saturday, June 7, 2008

States will pay to kill smokers who need life-saving medication?

The title of this blog post says it all. The lady in this article is VERY lucky the medication will be covered for free. These nannies running the states are slowly becoming MORE evil towards smokers!

Oregon Offers to Pay to Kill, but Not to Treat Cancer Patient

By Tim Waggoner

SALEM, Oregon, June 4, 2008 ( - Lung cancer patient,
Barbara Wagner, was recently notified that her oncologist-prescribed
medication that would slow the growth of cancer would not be covered
by the Oregon Health Plan; the plan, however, she was informed, would
cover doctor-assisted suicide should she wish to kill herself.

"Treatment of advanced cancer that is meant to prolong life, or
change the course of this disease, is not a covered benefit of the
Oregon Health Plan," read the letter notifying Wagner of the health
plan's decision.

Wagner says she was shocked by the decision. "To say to someone,
we'll pay for you to die, but not pay for you to live, it's cruel,"
she told the Register-Guard. "I get angry. Who do they think they

This past Monday morning, however, Wagner had reason to rejoice. A
representative from the company that manufactures the treatment
called the cancer patient to say they would give her the medication
for free.

"I am just so thrilled," she said. "I am so relieved and so happy."

Dr. Walter Shaffer, medical director of the state Division of Medical
Assistance Programs, which administers the Oregon Health Plan,
attempted to defend the health plan's decision. "We can't cover
everything for everyone," he said. "We try to come up with polices
that provide the most good for the most people." Shaffer then
addressed a priority list that had been developed to ration health
care. "There's some desire on the part of the framers of this list to
not cover treatments that are futile," he said, "or where the
potential benefit to the patient is minimal in relation to the
expense of providing the care."

According to an AP story on Wagner's case, local oncologists in
Oregon have said that, despite the Health Services Commission's
assertion that they were just clarifying policies already in place,
healthcare practitioners have observed a sizable shift in policy in
the way recurrent cancer is treated in the state. Increasingly, say
local oncologists, sufferers of recurrent cancer are not receiving
coverage for chemotherapy. They are always, however, eligible for
state-funded assisted suicide.

Wesley J. Smith, a prominent conservative bioethicist, says that he
was not surprised by the events.

"We have been warning for years that this was a possibility in
Oregon. Medicaid is rationed, meaning that some treatments are not
covered. But assisted suicide is always covered. And now, Barbara
Wagner was faced with that very scenario."

Smith also mentioned a similar circumstance that had occurred in the
past: "This isn't the first time this has happened either. A few
years ago a patient who needed a double organ transplant was denied
the treatment but would have been eligible for state-financed
assisted suicide."

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