Oregon health plan covers assisted suicide, not drugs, for cancer patient:
An Oregon woman suffering from lung cancer was notified by the state-run Oregon Health Plan that their policy would not cover her life-extending cancer drug, telling her the health plan would cover doctor-assisted suicide instead.
Barbara Wagener discovered her lung cancer had recurred last month, the Register-Guard said. Her oncologist prescribed a drug called Tarceva, which could slow the cancer growth and extend her life.
The Oregon Health Plan notified Wagner that it would not cover the drug, but it would cover palliative care, which it said included assisted suicide.
“Treatment of advanced cancer that is meant to prolong life, or change the course of this disease, is not a covered benefit of the Oregon Health Plan,” said the letter Wagner received from LIPA, the Eugene company that administers the Oregon Health Plan in Lane County.
“I think it’s messed up,” Wagner said. She said she was particularly upset because the letter said doctor-assisted suicide would be covered.
“To say to someone, we’ll pay for you to die, but not pay for you to live, it’s cruel,” she said. “I get angry. Who do they think they are?”