Wednesday, June 15, 2016

1656 A New Way to Soak the Ailing

A whole new healthcare industry is about to blossom in Canada. Doctors have been given permission to help terminally ill patients end their lives.

And unlike pioneer US doctor Jack Kevorkian, these docs will not have to prowl the streets in deathmobile minivans hunting for a secluded roadside lovers’ lanes. They can do it in the public square for all a physician needs to fear.

In fact, they can do it in the clinic at the nation’s capital offices in Ottawa.

But here’s the whole new industry:  Assisted Dying Facilities. They’d be just like assisted living facilities,  only the stays would be shorter.  And probably the insurance costs lower, but not much. Gotta get paid while you can.  Of course in Canada which sensibly adopted universal-ish health care in 1961, they worry a bit less than we do about the costs of procedures.

Here in the States, of course, such facilities would be strictly private.  And that’s a whole new ballgame.  Assisted living and nursing homes are under fire here. Owners are hated at a level second only to politicians, bankers and reporters.

And some of them should be.  A bad banker makes no bones about where his interests lie: with himself.  A bad nursing home operator can pretend he’s doing a great service for his residents all the while charging $5,000 a month for three square a day and an attended bath or shower.

An assisted dying facility would have all those perks but shorter leases.  And they could get away without the meals in many cases.

There would be little to no need for physicians other than the neo-Kevorks. There would be little need for nurses.  You wouldn’t even need more than maybe three or four rooms.  And those rooms could be more like Motel 6 than the Waldorf. Kind of a roach motel for humans, or a short term room of the kind often rented by drug dealers and prostitutes. A place where you check in vertical and check out horizontal.

People in the US probably would be more vocal than Canadians about the horrors of euthanizing human beings even if they came in on their deathbeds or death wheelchairs and walkers.  Canadians are less vocal than we are about pretty much anything but hockey. So, here there would be protests and picketing a la anti abortion activists.  But that shouldn’t matter much to the doctors, the roach motel operators or the “guests.”  After all, there are occasionally obeyed laws in place to keep the protesters away from these facilities.

So… advantages:  The place can be small.  Operators wouldn’t need a medical staff of any great size.  There’d be no need for kitchens or dining areas, cooks, cleaner uppers and dieticians.

There’d be no need for a recreation room or a director of physical therapy.  No need for a big elaborate parking lot.  Maybe a telephone operator/receptionist.

And think of the franchise opportunites!

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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Gee maybe some day Google Docs will allow macros so I don’t have to type this so often.
© WJR 2016

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