As many in the bioethics movement push various schemes to ration health care based on “quality of life” — such as the odious QALY (quality adjusted life year) system beloved of the New England Journal of Medicine — some are pushing back and insisting that health-care coverage and treatment public policy be predicated on the intrinsic equal dignity and moral worth of all patients.
Toward that end, Oklahoma’s governor just signed into law a bill that outlaws such invidious and bigoted discrimination. From HB 2587:
The Legislature finds and declares that:
1. Physical and mental disabilities, age or chronic illness should in no way diminish a person’s right to life, human dignity and equal access to medical care;
2. Historically, persons with disabilities, advanced age or chronic illness have faced discrimination in the health care system, including the denial of access to life-sustaining care;
3. Such discrimination is inconsistent with our society’s commitment to human dignity and the full inclusion of persons with disabilities throughout society;