Insurance Company Denies Chemotherapy, Offers To Pay For Assisted Suicide

A terminally ill California woman says her insurance company denied her coverage for chemotherapy treatment but offered to pay for her to kill herself, shortly after California passed a law permitting physician-assisted suicide.

Stephanie Packer, a wife and mother of four who was diagnosed with a terminal form of scleroderma, said her insurance company initially indicated it would pay for her to switch to a different chemotherapy drug at the recommendation of her doctors.
But after California’s End of Life Option Act, which authorizes physicians to diagnose a life-ending dose of medication to patients with a prognosis of six months or less to live, went into effect, Ms. Packer’s insurance company had a change of heart.[WASHINGTONTIMES]

It would be cheaper for them to, instead, pay for end of life medication.

Months later, after Packer threatened to tell her story to the media, the drug was approved. Sean Crowley, media relations director for Compassion & Choices, a “death with dignity” advocacy group, told me that treatment delays or rejections are “not uncommon” in the cost-conscious insurance industry.

“We’re heartbroken for this woman,” Crowley says. “People battle drug companies every day. They go through awful pain and suffering just to get well. We think people should be able to do whatever they want” — including continuing to live. [NEWYORKPOST]

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