Since this topic came up in class, I wanted to get a bit deeper into the PAS conflict that will be testing our home state in the coming years as this law takes action. Many of us have heard the term slippery slope when regarding PAS due to its nature, but wether it is or is not something to worry about is almost as controversial as the topic itself.
If insurance companies are faced with prescribing patients with a prescription to help prolong their life, but that medication was more costly, would they choose to cover it? Or is it just as likely that they would offer to cover the prescription to end a patients life instead of that which would prolong it due to cost? Supporters of the law say that just because it may be covered by insurance will not push people to make the choice to end their lives. They add that the cost that would be saved would be insignificant enough to incentivise and pressure PAS to patients that did not want it.
Taking a life goes against the code of a doctor, taking a life is a federal offense, but PAS gets close to that line, and this is why people have such strong opinions about it. "The barbiturates prescribed to patients to end their lives cost about $1,500. Average healthcare spending in a patient's last year of life is $33,486, according to federal data." What is a persons life worth to you? What is is worth to keep a person happy in their final days? To remember them with family instead of with suffering? What are these lives worth to the insurance companies? To the hospitals? Is this a flaw in bureaucracy? Big business? Or just the way the world works?