When Reverence Is Reliant on Narrative Rather Than Fact.
The amendment reads: "[N]o offence shall have been committed if assistance is given to a person to commit suicide who is suffering from a confirmed, incurable and disabling illness which prevents them from carrying through their own wish to bring their life to a close, if the person has received certification from a coroner who has investigated the circumstances, and satisfied himself that it is indeed the free and settled wish of the person that they bring their life to a close."
Vitas is the largest provider of hospice services for patients with severe, life-limiting illnesses. The company has approximately 8% of the U.S. market for hospice services. Net revenue last quarter for the Vitas segment was $211 million, an increase of 6.2% over the prior year. Income was up 20.4% over the prior year to $17.2 million. According to MedPAC, Medicare spending on hospice services quadrupled between 1999 and 2007, from $2.4 billion to more than $10 billion. With the Obama stimulus package increasing the Medicare Hospice Wage Index in 1999, Chemed estimates this will add an additional $8 million in revenue to Vitas.
Two, depression-independent, enormous demographic trends in one company. The company also just doubled its dividend in August from six cents a share to 12 cents a share. Google: no dividend. Trading at just seven times Ebitda, with solid growth in front of it, I’d take Chemed over Google as a solid play over the next year.
If you want to get to the root of just about every problem we face in America today, just look to the “experts,” whose advice did much to get us here. Despite this, our bad case of “expertitis” shows no signs of abating. How else explain the drive to take decision making power on some of the most important issues of our day and turn it over to unelected, unaccountable bureaucratic boards of “experts?”
Well, I do know Jack. Did, anyway. I covered all the major trials; had behind-the-scenes access to write long pieces for Vanity Fair and Esquire, and saw and interviewed him hundreds of times between 1993 and 1999, when he finally went to the slam.
I have only seen him once since he got out in 2007. He told someone that he didn't want to talk to me anymore because I was "too objective." There are worse things to be accused of.
I have no idea how the movie will portray Kevorkian. Nobody has shown me a script, though I am told some actor, hopefully somebody much better looking than I am, is playing me. However, I do know what really went on. It took me awhile to figure out Jack Kevorkian, whose image was distorted both by the prosecutors and his brilliant, long-time lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger.
Lessenberry covers the "career" of Kevorkian and his rise to prominence, then his downfall and incarceration:
But he brought his whole house down, possibly because of what seems to be a self-destructive streak. He insisted on committing euthanasia, filming it, and rubbing the prosecutors' noses in it.
He said it was time to raise the stakes to a national debate on euthanasia. (With my help, he gave the tape to Mike Wallace, who showed it on 60 Minutes.) Privately, Kevo told me he hoped to be convicted and sent to jail. He felt the outraged reaction of his supporters would force the system to free him and allow euthanasia.
And he summarizes Kevorkian's contribution to medicine and what should be his lasting legacy:
However, he did have a major impact on medicine, though one he probably never intended. Most of all, the hospice movement started getting serious funding and attention. It seemed an attractive alternative to death inhaling carbon monoxide in a rusty van.
Two states also now permit doctors — in some circumstances — to prescribe medication that allows terminally ill patients to put themselves out of their misery. Generally speaking, medicine is less callous. When my father was dying in 1993, in his 80s, I had to make a scene to get him more pain medication the day before he died. Thirteen years later, when my mother died in much the same way, the same hospital kept her completely comfortable without being asked. Kevorkian had something to do with that. Perhaps it is for these things that he should be remembered.
The state of Florida plans to Terri Schiavo the terminally ill should a swine flu epidemic break out. Patients suffering from conditions such as end stage cancer and multiple sclerosis will be denied admission to the hospital during such an emergency, no doubt to die either at home or in the streets.