It’s Thursday, which means Vanessa is back. And so is this blog, after publishing nothing yesterday. I should really get more ahead of the game, but like that’s going to happen. Things are on the TV.
In the news lately, we’ve been hearing a lot about how Quebec has legalized euthanasia. Like most of the things Quebec does (politically, socially), a petition has sprung up in protest. I link to it because its “logic” and “reasoning” are flawed and it made me laugh.
Anyways. How does this relate to the popular Financial Uproar blog? Well, simply put, living is expensive and my word, if I was at a stage in my life where I thought that dying would be better than living, I would choose death simply because of the cost-effectiveness.
I mean, I like being alive and all but, if my “life” is an empty shell of a body, or a body which doesn’t work, I absolutely cannot think of anything worse. And, despite people’s claims that I’m being selfish, I really can’t see a more selfless act than wanting to maintain an independent life with a functioning mind.
Now, before people start commenting that I’m completely off my rocker and that saving money is a terrible reason to choose to end hypothetical life support/euthanize my future self, let’s crunch the numbers in a very general way, shall we?
Let’s imagine for a second that my near-death experience last year had resulted in more permanent injuries than a traumatized brain. Let’s say that I was in the hospital and the doctors were unsure if I would awake or that, if I did, whether or not I would walk again. Eventually, a decision would have to be made about whether or not my family members would consent to withdraw life support. In our hypothetical scenario, they do not consent and I keep on “living”.
Evidently, I will need to leave the hospital. Ignoring the costs of transporting a comatose person with all her government-lent equipment home, the biggest immediate expense is a 24 hour nurse because, obviously, a comatose person can’t just be left to her own devices, hanging out in the spare bedroom.
At an average cost of $25/h, a 24 hour nurse, in Alberta, would cost $219 000. For 40 years. Sure, I might wake up and sure, my family would have the peace of mind knowing that I’m around and might be able to hear them but OMG. No. I would go from earning say, $31 000 a year, to earning negative $219 000, meaning that it would cost a quarter million dollars each year to keep me alive — on top of the various medications and IV drips I would need. I would end up costing my family, and later, once they ran out of money, the government about $10 million by the time I’m 65.
Getting back to the euthanasia, let’s pretend that I wake up from my coma and can’t walk. I need less supervision but am now alive and am using resources that I otherwise would not have used while in a coma (food, entertainment, etc.). In addition, I would probably need more medication (MEDICAL MARIJUANA, because why not?), rehab, therapy, modifications to my house so that I could wheel around and a special car to transport me. Let’s estimate about $300 000 in upfront liabilities and a few thousand per month in residual costs. Yes, this is a far cry from the quarter million per year that Coma Vanessa costs but, wow, this is still a LOT of money more than what I earn in a year, meaning that it, again, would cost my family more money to keep me alive than what I’m worth.
Aside from the financial cost, the terrible-quality-of-life factor plays a HUGE role in my decision. I’ve lived with a disabled person and I’ve been around enough terminally ill people in my life that I can’t even imagine being that reliant on other people and frankly, I have no interest in needing someone else to clean me or feed me.
So, to conclude, I am happy that Quebec has introduced this new law so that people, like me, will have another option when they feel that they are becoming too expensive to keep.