By Dr. Virginia Stark-Vance MD
Physicians are under increasing pressure to not offer patients care. Sometimes this pressure comes from the hospital or medical staff, sometimes from the insurance company. One medical staff chief tried to force me to withdraw from the hospital staff because the nursing staff had complained to him that taking care of brain tumor patients is “depressing.” Another hospital tried to prevent my patients from being admitted to the ICU because “it’s a waste of resources.” I have had numerous calls from insurance case managers wanting to know why my patients were admitted instead of being referred for hospice. One of my patients, a thirty year survivor, was told by his insurance company that he should “consider” hospice. And this is a man who has a KPS (measure of a patient’s ability to carry out daily activities) of 90 and has been in remission for over 25 years!
You heard it here first: the uninsured, underinsured, lower socioeconomic white and minority groups who have no family support will be “encouraged” to consider assisted suicide when it becomes legal. Why? Because those are the same people who are being neglected and murdered by our healthcare system now.
Virginia Stark-Vance, MD, is a medical oncologist specializing in the field of neuro-oncology (the treatment of brain and spinal cord malignancies). She is from Texas. Dr. Stark-Vance co-authored the book 100 Questions and Answers About Brain Tumors.