Minorities need health care, not life-ending prescriptions – The Mercury News

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

In our Hispanic culture, caring for the sick and the dying is part of us. We hold the family close yet reach far to include many in our circle. We cherish the older generation, our abuelas and abuelos. And on dia de los Muertos, we decorate elaborate altars to remember our beloved deceased. As with many groups, we take pride in our care for the sick. But that compassion and care has not been extended to everyone in California. It’s a situation society must urgently address. Extraordinarily, instead of focusing on solutions to the injustice caused by inadequate health care, California is debating whether to make physician-assisted suicide easier and to open the “option” to more minorities. Priorities seem askew. California’s law legalizing physician-assisted suicide passed during a special session called to address one issue: insufficient funding for MediCal. Six years later, the state has still not addressed the funding shortfall but instead is debating a bill to make it easier to receive a lethal prescription from a doctor. Lack of funding exasperates the problems many minorities and vulnerable populations already have in receiving basic health care. It reduces the quality of life for those who can’t get care for routine, treatable medical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. And it reduces options at the end of life for palliative and hospice care. But perhaps worst of all, Senate Bill 380 (Eggman, D-Stockton) sends a dangerous message to minorities and vulnerable popu- lations: It costs too much to care for you, but California has another “option” you might consider. No minority demands that.

Minorities need health care, not life-ending prescriptions – The Mercury News

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