Upside Down Medicine in Oregon: Paying to Kill, but Not to Extend Life
Posted Mar 30 2009 4:15pm
Oregon's Health Services Commission has published the list of covered treatments under the state's rationed Medicaid law. Comfort care is high on the list, and includes assisted suicide. But the overseers of rationed care explicitly state that treatment to extend life if the prognosis for living five years is poor, will not be covered. From the Prioritized List, page SI-1:
COMFORT/PALLIATIVE CARE It is the intent of the Commission that comfort/palliative care treatments for patients with an illness with
<5%> expected five year survival be a covered service. Comfort/palliative care includesthe provision of services or items that give comfort to and/or relieve symptoms for such patients. There is no intent to limit comfort/palliative care services according to the expectedlength of life (e.g., six months) for such patients, except as specified by Oregon AdministrativeRules.
It is the intent of the Commission to not cover diagnostic or curative care for the primary illness or care focused on active treatment of the primary illness which are intended to prolong life or alter disease progression for patients with
<5%> five year survival.
Examples of comfort/palliative care include:..
5) Services under ORS 127.800-127.897 (Oregon Death with Dignity Act), to include but not be limited to the attending physician visits, consulting physician confirmation, mental health evaluation and counseling, and prescription medications.
Such is the compassion of the culture of death--and the future of all health care if the utilitarian health care rationers ever are put in charge.