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Letter: Canadian health system is a sound model for U.S.

Canadian health system is a sound model for U.S.

My mother died of lung cancer at 76 after decades of smoking. When she became very ill during conventional treatments, she asked my wife to be there with her.

At my mother’s visit to the doctor, he explained that she likely had only weeks left, maybe two months at most, if she was lucky. He then mentioned that there was an experimental drug available that might extend her life for an unknown period, or it could hasten her death. My mother, from practical European stock, figured it might not do her any good, but it gave her a chance and if the trial helped anyone coming behind her, those were fair odds. She took the drug.

Her short-term remission was amazing. Within days, her energy level increased and she felt better and was more mobile than she had been in months. Amazing to the point that she called me up and said she wanted to pay one last visit to Reno to play the slots, and that she wanted my wife there with her. When I demurred, she said sharply, “That’s my dying wish, son!”

My wife and my mother enjoyed Reno for three days. On a daily basis, mom outlasted my wife in the energy department. Her remission lasted nearly seven months and she made the most of every minute before she finally ran out the clock.

This happened way back in 1981 in Canada. The drugs and all medical services were provided at no cost to her, paid for by the Canadian single-payer system that also caps Big Pharma profit levels at 15 percent. Maybe one day this could happen here.

Anthony Street

Amherst

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