Written by Chuck Barber
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Topics: Death, New York

Friday, 14 May 2004

(New York) An internal memo at the Dome Insurance Company suggested arranging deaths of aging and failing customers to look like suicide. The suicide deaths would allow the company to refrain from paying death benefits as all Dome Life Insurance policies contain a clause cancelling the policy if the insured commits suicide.

The memo also noted that a speedy death would prove beneficial if the customer had medical benefits with the company and went on to note that in situations where the patient was ill and the death benefits small a death of any sort might prove beneficial to the company bottom line.

"Suppose," the document reads, "the death benefit is $25,000 and suppose we cover 80% of the medical benefits of a person suffering with a painful, debilitating, slow disease. The costs of hospitalization and drugs over the final six months of said insured's life might be four (4) times the cost of the $25,000 death payoff. Obviously, in this case the intelligent decision is to kill the patient and be done with it."

Dome insurance president Howard Bean acknowledged the truth of the memo from a financial perspective but emphasized that the memo was never acted upon. "It would be wrong for us to kill our customers. Do you honestly believe we would get repeat family business if we had authorized the death of a loved one? And, of course, it would just be wrong." Bean went on to note that the writer of the memo had been moved to another department within the company and had subsequently left for another position in another company. "We will not tolerate the murder of our fine customers by our employees. I promise."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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