The Future in Rep. Tonko's and Barack Obama's America

We’ve noted remarks by a senior aide to Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) that “probably the best part of the bill is the increase in Hospice care which will solve the prolonging of life issue.”

That does not tend to make sense because hospice care is for people already at the end of life who need to be kept comfortable. How on earth does more hospice funding solve “prolonging of life issues” when people in hospice already know they are about to die?

Well, it doesn’t until you consider stories like this.

Some terminally ill patients in Oregon who turned to their state for health care were denied treatment and offered doctor-assisted suicide instead, a proposal some experts have called a “chilling” corruption of medical ethics.

Since the spread of his prostate cancer, 53-year-old Randy Stroup of Dexter, Ore., has been in a fight for his life. Uninsured and unable to pay for expensive chemotherapy, he applied to Oregon’s state-run health plan for help.

Lane Individual Practice Association (LIPA), which administers the Oregon Health Plan in Lane County, responded to Stroup’s request with a letter saying the state would not cover Stroup’s pricey treatment, but would pay for the cost of physician-assisted suicide.