Kevorkian Economics: Should People Be Allowed to End Their Lives to Save Money?

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In a new survey, more than one-third of respondents say that “mentally able seniors” should be allowed to end their lives in order to “help save health care costs.”

The national poll, conducted by the Suffolk University Political Research Center and featured in a Boston Globe story today, asked 1,070 likely voters whether they would favor allowing the elderly to end their lives to trim health care expenses. Researchers were surprised by how many people responded in the affirmative: 35%. A little over half (53%) said no, while the rest were undecided.
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Interestingly, people under the age of 65 were more likely to answer yes than the older folks in question who’d theoretically have the right to off themselves.

What’s this all about? Per the Globe:

Stuart Altman, a health economist at Brandeis University’s Heller School, said the survey question speaks to the growing concern of “wasteful spending” at the end of life that he often hears from health care providers.

“Older people committing suicide, I don’t think would save much money,” Altman said. “But I do think phasing out the wasteful care for people is where the money is.”