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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fear of Dying v. Affordable Health Care?

"It’s a shocking outrage in our country. It’s a moral outrage that we have almost 50 million people without coverage, without access to a doctor, and we have even hundreds of thousands more that can’t even use the coverage that they have. That’s wrong. We have to change it," Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the Catholic social justice lobby NETWORK, tells anchor Bob Abernethy in a recent episode of Religion & Ethics Newsweekly. NETWORK is part of an interfaith coalition of religious organizations calling for health care reform.
"There’s a lot of evidence that the fear of dying keeps us holding on to life in such ways that extraordinary means get used on a regular basis, and that makes it really challenging for limiting costs. There are other places where cost savings can be obtained, too, but that’s a big one," she says.
"Culturally as a nation," she adds, "we do not see death as integrated with living. We see it as something that’s to be feared. We’re getting better at it, but—with the hospice programs and other programs—but we as a culture need to accept dying is part of living, and it’s integrated. It’s one piece."