Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Simple Answers

Your mouth waters at the sight of a red ripe delicious Washington apple. The produce manager tells you it's laced with 10 mg of Phenobarbital but it's totally "natural." Of course, you would never believe him.

Initiative 1000, if passed, would change Washington law - Chapter 70 RCW 70.122 - the Natural Death Act to include taking an overdose of Phenobarbital to commit assisted suicide and call it a "natural" death.

Q. How is taking an overdose of a drug that attacks the brain stem closing down the central nervous system while the toxic poisons kill the vital organs considered a "natural" death?

A. It isn't natural.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mystery Money

The Death with Dignity National Center is going to spend $1.5 million on the passage of Initiative 1000 to legalize assisted suicide in Washington State. Since most of their money is contributed through their 501(c)3 status as a private nonprofit corporation they don't have to disclose the names of their donors.

So, it's hard to know exactly how much of their money comes from high rollers in the insurance and managed care business. Barbara Combs Lee, former Executive Director of Compassion and Choices, is credited for raising enough money to make the organization a force in legalizing assisted suicide. Compassion and Choices and the Death with Dignity National Center are the leading contributors to the Initiative 1000 campaign in Washington State.

Combs Lee is a former executive with Ethnix Northwest Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aetna insurance.

The question remains: "How much money is the insurance industry contributing to Initiative 1000?"