With no more time to live, a Californian woman is encouraged by her insurer to be euthanized

Stephanie Packer is a young mother of four who learned in 2012 that she probably had three years to live. She has a form of scleroderma that has caused scarring in her lungs, pulmonary fibrosis. In addition to her breathing difficulties, complications mean that she can only take small sips of water. She finds courage in support groups and in her church. But also in the medical care which suggested a possible improvement of his condition. However, after having promised to cover the expenses relating to chemotherapy, her insurer offers her only one possibility of being reimbursed: that she accepts assisted suicide, now legalized in California, and there will only be 1,20 left, XNUMX dollar at his expense.

Stephanie has twice lost in court action against the insurer. Her situation is not isolated, neither in California nor in the neighboring state of Oregon, whose euthanasia legislation inspired the one under whose empire the young woman lives. Indeed, despite the praise of so-called balanced laws, private insurance or health insurance funds refuse to cover medical care for people with very low chances of remission, and they encourage them to resort to assisted suicide. This is not without raising serious ethical problems, in addition to the fact of medically administering death.

From an alleged moral right to die, we move on to an economic duty to die so as not to be dependent on society or insurance companies. A conception of the individual which joins the economic one of the genetic tests which a federal law of 2008 prohibited insurers and employers from using to discriminate.

Hans-Søren Dag

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