http://www.physiciansforreform.org/index.php?id=30 What This Means For You The powerful story of Barbara Wagner demonstrates why this discussion is of utmost importance. When Barbara’s lung cancer reappeared during the spring of 2008 her oncologist recommended aggressive treatment with Tarceva, a new chemotherapy. However, Oregon’s state run health plan denied the potentially life altering drug because they did not feel it was "cost-effective." Instead, the State plan offered to pay for either hospice care or physician-assisted suicide. In stunned disbelief you may ask, "How can this be? This happens in Europe. I’ve heard stories of Britain’s National Health Service delaying intervention until the patient dies or reports of physician-assisted suicide in the Netherlands. But in America?" SNIP When queried about withholding Barbara’s treatment, Dr. Walter Shaffer, a spokesman for Oregon’s Division of Medical Assistance Programs, explained the policy this way, "We can't cover everything for everyone. Taxpayer dollars are limited for publicly funded programs. We try to come up with policies that provide the most good for the most people." Dr. Som Saha, chairman of the commission that sets policy for the Oregon Health Plan, echoed Shaffer, "If we invest thousands and thousands of dollars in one person's days to weeks, we are taking away those dollars from someone [else]."