Oregon Taxpayers To Cover Assisted Suicide
The Oregon Health Services Commission voted 10-1 that taxpayers should
be forced to pay for assisted suicides. They decided that lethal doses
of prescription drugs should be covered as a "medical service" for the
state's 270,000 low-income residents covered under the state's health plan.
Opposition to the policy was presented by several groups. "In rural
communities, neither hospice care nor psychiatric care may be available
for miles and miles," said Dr. Gregory Hamilton, president of Physicians
for Compassionate Care. "To offer state-funded suicide while failing to
offer adequate care is unconscionable." The new policy is scheduled to take
effect in two months, but it must "withstand federal scrutiny" because
Medicaid receives federal matching funds. Congress passed a law in
April that forbids federal money from being used to cover assisted suicide.
But that doesn't necessarily prevent coverage under the Oregon Health Plan.
Abortions can't be funded with federal dollars, but Oregon covers
abortions by using only state money. Most private insurers, with the exception of
Catholic health plans, have said they would cover the cost of lethal
Source: [2/26/98 - The Pro-Life Infonet, firstname.lastname@example.org]