Crushing Medical Bills, Then Murder-Suicide

By Caitlin O’Kane, Aug 9, 2019

CBS NEWS – A sheriff’s department in Washington state shared a story about an elderly man who killed his ailing wife and then himself, apparently because they did not have enough money to pay for medical care.

The devastating story was shared on the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page and has gone viral.

A 77-year-old man called 911 and told the dispatcher, “I’m going to kill myself,” according to the sheriff’s department.

He indicated he had prepared a note with instructions and the dispatcher tried to keep him on the line, with no success.

The man disconnected the call, and when deputies arrived at the house, they sent a robot mounted camera inside.

Both the man and his wife were found dead by gunshot wounds. Detectives are investigating it as a likely murder-suicide.

“Notes were left citing medical problems and concerns that the couple did not have sufficient resources,” the sheriffs department’s post reads.

“It is very tragic that one of our senior citizens would find himself in such desperate circumstances where he felt murder and suicide were the only option,” Sheriff Bill Elfo said. “Help is always available with a call to 9-1-1.” (Story continues below … ) 

Americans spend more on health care than citizens of any other country, and that gap is projected to widen.

Suicide rates have increased among all age groups in the U.S. between 2008 and 2017, including those age 65 and over. Read more.

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