One of the biggest medical stories of 2017 was met with bored indifference. The death rate from Alzheimer’s Disease rose a whopping 55% from 1999 to 2014. It is now the 6th leading cause of death, 5th leading cause in those over 65.
And the 2015 data are even worse.
The rates of the other top causes of death dropped in that time period, except for accidental death mostly caused by overdoses from the opioid crisis. What, no proclaimed Alzheimer’s crisis?
Reading the report shows the allure of Alzheimer’s euthanasia.
- The prevalence of Alzheimer’s is projected to quadruple by 2050
- Patients are more likely to die at home now (25%) than in 1999 (14%), receiving 18.2 billion hours of unpaid assistance, meaning a large burden on families.
- About half die in a nursing home. Estimated total health and long-term care costs in the US will total $259 billion in 2017, more than two thirds expected to be covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
It is also a disease that people fear and so are eager to claim as a fate worse than death. Already we see reports of people clamoring for the right to kill their demented relatives. These patients are the ones from whom the medical community has aggressively advocated against using feeding tubes supported by weak medical evidence; adding VSED rights gives an avenue of death beyond the current assisted suicide laws. This is why the death rate for Alzheimer’s is skyrocketing.
Sadly, this is why society will demand euthanasia for these patients. The slippery slope of Assisted Suicide is steep, indeed.
While I blogged about this back in January when the report was released, yesterday’s First Things Euthanasia for Alzheimer’s? article by Wesley J. Smith reminds us of where the Culture of Death continues to lead.