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Final Exit: California Assisted Suicide Bill Becomes Law

Final Exit: California Assisted Suicide Bill Becomes Law

Opponents express concerns about potential cost of “deathcare”

I have followed the progress of California’s “assisted suicide” legislation since it began to wind its way through the legislature. Yesterday, the bill landed on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk, and he signed the controversial measure with the type of pontificating we have come to expect from our state’s chief executive:

Caught between conflicting moral arguments, Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Jesuit seminary student, on Monday signed a measure allowing physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients who want to hasten their deaths.

Approving the bill, whose opponents included the Catholic Church, appeared to be a gut-wrenching decision for the 77-year-old governor, who as a young man studied to enter the priesthood.

“In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death,” Brown added. “I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn’t deny that right to others.”

California joins the deep blue states of Oregon, Washington, and Vermont in adopting “right to die with dignity” measures. The red state of Montana has a physician-assisted suicide option via court ruling.

Interestingly, those opposing the approval of this measure are worried that California’s healthcare system isn’t up for managing humane, life-ending options:

There were many, though, that opposed the effort and urged Brown to veto the legislation. They included those tied to Californians Against Assisted Suicide, whose spokesman Tim Rosales said that many were against the effort, including “progressive legislators representing low-income districts.”

On its website, Californians Against Assisted Suicide lists dozens of organization opposed to the bill Brown signed Monday. They include the American Academy of Medical Ethics, the American Medical Association, the California Catholic Conference, the Disability Rights Center and many others.

“We all know that ‘choice’ is a myth in the context of our unjust health care reality,” the group said after the state Senate passed the bill last month. “End-of-life treatment options are already limited for millions of people — constrained by poverty, disability discrimination, and other obstacles.

“Adding this so-called ‘choice’ into our dysfunctional health care system will push people into cheaper lethal options.”

The cost of deathcare is not an unreasonable concern—after all, the cost of health care has exploded in California:

Enrollment in the state’s healthcare program for the poor, known as Medi-Cal, has exploded by 50% since President Obama’s signature law took effect. Although the federal government picks up most of the tab, state costs have also been growing, and faster than expected.

Meanwhile, the annual bill for healthcare for public retirees — a benefit promised decades ago — has more than doubled in the last decade. Current and retired workers have accumulated $71.8 billion in healthcare benefits as of June last year, and the state has set aside almost nothing to cover the costs.

I am shocked—shocked!—that big government management of medical care is draining our state’s budget.

In an effort to bring down costs, Sacramento is now trying to enact price controls on pharmaceuticals.

As the issue bubbles up in national and state headlines, as well as the 2016 presidential race, the California Legislature approved one proposal for dealing with high-cost drugs and sent it to the governor.

AB 339, by Assembly member Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park), would cap out-of-pocket costs for a 30-day supply of prescription drugs at $250. The bill also contains provisions that ensure health plans do not place most or all drugs used to treat a certain condition on the highest cost tier in their drug formularies.

Trying to alter the relationship between supply and demand is a prescription for economic failure…so I expect Brown will sign this bill mid-October!

I suppose the good news is that there is at least one more legal route out of California! Though no matter which way one goes, their tax dollars are definitely staying in Sacramento.

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Comments

Palliative care is extraordinarily good in America. Pain management is key. Remember when abortion was only supposed to be rare? Now it’s a harvest crop and genetic screening option. Murdering the sick will have a similar creep: why stop on grandma with cancer? We can stop healthcare to anyone who might be an inconvenience or high cost, wait for the pain to become unbearable, and let the person request cyanide.

The spectrum of the pro-death crowd known no bounds.

In the Collective (as the name implies) individuals are expendable components. The entire notion of Collectivist forms is that individuals are factors in the “greater good of society”, not themselves sovereign beings with rights and liberty that the Collective may not subsume to its ends.

By co-opting others into the process of suicide…especially members of the medical profession…you blur the lines between suicide and homicide. And that is a line that society should keep very bright, very clear, and very broad.

“…big government management of medical care is draining our state’s budget.
In an effort to bring down costs, Sacramento is now trying to enact price controls on pharmaceuticals.”

Ah, the Whac-A-Mole economics of Progressives. Who gets hit next?

I’m a physician. I shall be blunt: you don’t need my help to commit suicide. There are plenty of ways for a person to do that, none of which involve me. If you really think you shouldn’t be alive anymore, well fine, do what you must. I will help you with your pain. I will help you with your mobility. I will help you with your comfort. I will be there at the end of your days. But I will not help you end your life.

This is not about “physician-assisted suicide.” It is “physician-approved suicide”, and is (despite denials) but a short step from “physician-accomplice to murder”. It is about co-opting physicians. Co-opting is what socialists and progressives (but I repeat myself) do to push a wedge issue through. Once they have doctors “assisting”, from then on it’s about enlarging the scope of the work and making it mandatory. That will clearly happen. It is the clearly stated goal of the farthest-left of the left, and it is precisely the most radical of people who set, shape, and direct an agenda.

I will never put myself in the position where a patient might wonder whether I’m wearing the black hood of an executioner instead of the white coat of a healer. I will not participate in any way.

And further: I will hound any colleague who does. This is immoral and against the oath we took the day we became physicians. If you can’t honor the oath leave the profession. I will clearly make my disapproval an displeasure known to any physician who participates in these acts.

You don’t need me to kill yourself. Trust me on that.

Somwhere further down the slippery slope… State dictated, physician directed “completion of life cycle” therapy. When President Obama told the guy his older grandmother would not be afforded additional costly care and should “take a pill”… it will be the last pill she will ever take. The pursuit in THX-1138 was cancelled due to cost overruns… maybe that implantable health record chip will have an account tabulation to match up with health records to determine what or if to give therapy. I once had a dream where I mistakenly wound up in a restaurant where the State was giving older people their last birthday party……

Subotai Bahadur | October 6, 2015 at 2:39 pm

In Britain they have an equivalent, called the Liverpool Pathway. What it comes down to is cutting off food and water and letting the patient die.

Ten years ago, my daughter was a student in London, and had to be hospitalized. She was in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in the upscale neighborhood of South Kensington. That was, literally, the newest and most modern hospital in Britain then. They bragged about it.

Despite being new, it still has the open bay wards. When she was admitted, there were no beds in a woman’s ward, so they put her in a geriatric male ward. Where she saw two murders.

My daughter was awake, aware, and oriented x 3. Her problem was diabetic ketoacidosis, and once the sugars are brought back to normal, recovery is rapid. The hospitalization is to make sure that the sugars are under control.

To her left in the line of beds was a man on a ventilator to assist breathing. He was semi-conscious. Doctor and herd of flunkies came in. Told him,”You are not sick enough to send to ICU, and you have no one to care for you at home. We are going to remove the ventilator and you will be dead within a half an hour.”.

They did. He was. He fought for his life, but they removed it. She listened to him suffocating through the curtain.

Across the aisle was an elderly man who had somehow survived the year long wait after breaking his hip for surgery. The anesthesiologist let him come up too high, he gagged and vomited, and aspirated vomitus. He had aspiration pneumonia, which was more than they wanted to treat. So they were letting him die. My daughter got the story from his wife, who was with him.

The night after listening to the murder of the man next to her, she heard the man sit up about 0400 and croak, “I’m dying”. He was a little premature, as he did not actually die until about 1000. Murder by deliberate neglect.

Right now, according to the Brit papers, they are paying 5 figure bonuses to doctors who do NOT refer more than a quota of patients for expensive cancer treatments every quarter. So it is to their personal profit that their patients die of cancer.

That is the way American healthcare is going under Obamacare, with California on the cutting edge. Happily, my last family members moved out of California over a year ago. Anyone who does not want to be murdered by the State, or any medical professional who did not train at Auschwitz needs to get out of California ASAP.

    They actually phased out the Liverpool Care Pathway last year because it was getting so much bad press. So now they can claim “We don’t use the LCP anymore!” Unfortunately, what replaced it is even worse.

    New NHS death guidelines ‘worse than Liverpool Care Pathway’

    One of the first medics to raise concerns about the now discredited Liverpool Care Pathway says new protocols to replace it are more dangerous, and could hasten patients’ deaths

    The national proposals would encourage hospital staff to guess who was dying, in the absence of any clear evidence, and to take steps which could hasten patients’ death.

    The Liverpool Care Pathway – which meant fluids and treatment could be withdrawn, and sedation given to the dying – was officially phased out last year, on the orders of ministers.

    It followed concern that under the protocols, thirsty patients had been denied water and left desperately sucking at sponges.

In the Netherlands, physicians are killing about 20 people per week under similar assisted suicide laws.

The victims are almost all patients living in extended care facilities at the hospital.

In other words, they are unprofitable patients.

A doctor in the Netherlands is allowed to make decisions on behalf of the patient, as long as other relatives cannot be located with reasonable efforts.

In other words, Doctors are killing off unprofitable patients when their relatives don’t visit.

These laws are being abused to essentially murder people.

And that’s what’s coming here.

The Hippocratic Oath was deprecated with the progress of elective abortion after constructing a male-female congruence (i.e. “=”) that required aggressive indoctrination efforts to force popular acceptance.

BTW, I disabled ad-block for LI with the understanding there would be no pop-ups or autoplay videos. This autoplay starts off with freaking bagpipes.

Strike one.

I sure hope the democrats take advantage of this fine offer. Along with abortion maybe we can see the party “die” off.

What if this procedure doesn’t work as advertised? I think we need a subject to try it out, to make sure that the folks are getting a nice, pleasant death.

The first subject should be Governor Jerry Brown; after all, he has no brainwave activity, he looks pretty dead already, and we’d all be a lot better off without him!

(Actually, the lack of brain activity has been known for a very long time, so he’s overdue if anything.)

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