Stephanie Packer, a mother-of-four has revealed that her insurance company refused to approve her coverage for chemotherapy treatment, but agreed to pay her to kill herself, the New York Post is reporting.
Packer, a mother-of-four said her insurance company offered to buy her suicide drugs after California lawmakers passed a law allowing doctors to help terminally sick patients commit suicide after they have been diagnosed to have six months or less to live.
Stephanie Packer was just 29-years-old when she was diagnosed with scleroderma, a terminal disease that allows scar tissue form on the lungs. A doctor told her she only had three years to live. Packer, who is now 33, says she has outlived her death sentence and fight to stay alive longer and not commit suicide.
“I just want to spend every second with my kids … I want my kids to see that death is a part of life.”
Life has been difficult for the 33-year-old wife and mother, as doctor-assisted suicide is now preferred to painful, prolonged living. Packer is on oxygen full time and is dependent on a cocktail of medications. She revealed that she also struggled to digest food properly and was always tired most of the time. However, Packer has revealed she is in until she draws her last breath, finding contentment when her life ends rather than hurrying it along.
In June, the state of California enacted the End of Life Option, Stephanie, a devout Catholic pointed out that sick people were now forced to make choices of death, rather than be happy and look forward to life.
“People once exchanged messages of hope; now people are saying we should be dying … I just wanted no part of it.”
Stephanie’s doctor had advised her to begin using another chemotherapy drug to buy her some time. Her insurance company refused to pay, but offered to cover the costs of drugs that would help take her life.
The co-payment was $1.20.
When the mother-of-four threatened to tell her story to the papers, the drug that would help prolong her life was approved by the insurance company.
“I was going back and forth and finally I heard back from them, and they said ‘Yes’, we’re going to get it covered, we just have to fix a couple of things.
Riverside Superior Court affirms California End of Life Option Act. Freedom of choice must be defended! https://t.co/kvoHbYsUQC— DIGNITAS (@DIGNITAS_org) August 28, 2016
Sean Crowley, a media relations director with Compassion and Choices, a die-with-dignity group revealed that Stephanie’s case was not anything out of the ordinary because insurance companies were always concerned about their bottom line.
“We’re heartbroken for this woman. People battle drug companies every day. They go through awful pain and suffering just to get well. We think people should be able to do whatever they want—including continuing to live.”
Jennifer Lahl, founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, pointed out that people had every right to refuse doctors if they wanted to end their lives, but that “doctors shouldn’t be killers” towards people who wanted to go on living.
In 2014, Brittany Maynard became the face of the Right to Die movement. The 29-year-old had taken her life legally after finding out she had terminal brain tumor. Maynard in the midst of friends and family had taken an overdose of doctor-prescribed barbiturates, to end her painful ordeal. Stephanie Packer wants to be the face of a Right to Live movement, she is brave and wants to see it to the very end.
In California, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and the state of Washington, doctors can now assist mentally competent adults with suicide. Similar initiatives are being considered by New Jersey, New York, Colorado and the District of Columbia. These proposals would be confirmed in the aftermath of the November 8 elections.
Physician-assisted suicide is already in effect in Japan, Canada, Colombia and parts of Europe. In 2015, a depressed 24-year-old sought government approval to end her life by lethal injection; she later changed her life and chose to live.
Netherlands lawmakers are looking at a proposal which allows adults who are not suffering from any terminal sicknesses to also end their lives, once they believe they have “completed life.”
[Featured Image by Stephanie Packer]