News

The rebirth of the Dick Lamm duty-to-die controversy

Our own Joe Tone thinks the Newsweek cover headline "The Case for Killing Granny" is evidence that the folks at the mag have lost it, and maybe they have. After all, author Evan Thomas makes a Colorado reference in illustrating the healthcare disparities (according to him, the average cost of Medicare treatment in Boulder is $9,103, while it's $6,448 in Fort Collins, an hour away) without mentioning former Governor Dick Lamm, whose famous comment about seniors having a "duty to die" -- a remark he's long said was misinterpreted -- has gotten new life of late. Examples: CBS mentioned in not one but two recent reports.

In a September 2 Denver Post interview, Lamm said he felt vindicated by the debate over so-called "end of life" issues -- the latest phrase to anger the elderly. But as the Newsweek banner demonstrates, it's a lot easier to stir ire when it comes to dealing with such topics than it is to discuss them coolly and dispassionately.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts