X-Message-Number: 27389
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 08:51:02 +0100
From: Eugen Leitl <>
Subject: [crippen+@pitt.edu: [ccm-l] Boutique suicide centers on the way?]

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----- Forwarded message from David Crippen <crippen+@pitt.edu> -----

From: David Crippen <crippen+@pitt.edu>
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 20:52:12 -0500
Subject: [ccm-l] Boutique suicide centers on the way?

Article in today's USA Today about "terminal" patients travelling to 
Switzerland to take advantage of available Physician Assisted 
Suicide.  Technically not available where they live, a flight to 
Zurich and it's all provided for both Swiss citizens and foreigners. 
Presumably money changes hands.  Seems to be the thing to do. A 
British member of Parliament recently introduced a bill legalizing it 
in the UK.   The embattled Oregon (USA) law, which it technically in 
force but said not to be used much, is on the Supreme Court docket 
and a ruling is expected early next year (Challenged by the Bush 
Administration). Other countries (Netherlands) are sniffing around it.

This is an interesting example of the "if you build it, they will 
come" phenomenon. There is no stronger incentive than providing an 
alternative supply for a thwarted demand.  It's a ready made 
clientele, pre-selected to cheerfully pay what the traffic will bear. 
And with interesting implications for critical care.  How long will 
it be before National Health Care arrives in the USA, not out of 
desire but financial necessity.  Those that are currently getting 
to-die-for health care indemnification are going to find themselves 
standing in line with the great unwashed for less than they take for 
granted now. Those entitled are not going to be happy about it, and 
they will, of course, enter into alternative schemes to insure 
continuance of their favored status.

That means boutique critical care is likely to become a reality (if 
it isn't here already).  "Clinics" in countries that need the money 
and have the personnel willing to work (only) for agreed upon price. 
Pick up patients in Lear Jets and fly them to state of the art 
critical care, bypassing those standing in line cheek by jowl with 
penniless street urchins for it.  The perfect business. Pre-selected 
for well heeled patrons happy to shell out for service that bypasses 
overcrowded facilities with limited resources.

I was just thinking the suicide centers may be pointing the way to a 
workaround of what we think we want in national health care..

David Crippen, MD
Macintosh: Drink upstream from the herd.

"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle.
Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way, so I stole one
and asked Him to forgive me."
                               ---Emo  Philips

----- End forwarded message -----
Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
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