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End of Life: Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, Death Penalty

 This page and any related sub-pages provide information about this subject:

end-of-life care

(To access sub-pages, go to Sidebar 1.)

Please also refer to these other locations:

  • Pages (in Sidebar 1) for specific states that may be dealing with legislation, court cases, etc. for that subject.
  • Posts (i.e., the dated entries displayed in this left-hand side of the blog). Sidebar 2 provides multiple search methods.
  • Links (in Sidebar 3) for other Web sites with information about the subject.

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 USCCB statement about Terri Schiavo’s death: http://www.nchla.org/issues.asp?ID=48

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Above this sentence is the material that was in a draft version of this page, for about a month! So now am just going to publish the page and begin listing links as time permits. Better something than nothing about the subject!

http://www.LifeNews.com/bio2831.html

 

090423 found an article that prompts me to expand the subject matter for this page:

re: Death Penalty

http://catholickey.blogspot.com/2009/04/archbishop-chaput-credited-for-death

 

Added 090819

http://www.lifenews.com/bio2926.html 

AARP Loses 60,000 Members by Supporting Pro-Rationing Health Care Agenda

by Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com Editor

August 18, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The nation’s largest organization for seniors is losing members thanks to its support of a health care agenda that includes rationing health care.

Although the group has not technically endorsed the House and Senate bills specifically, it has put enough of its imprimatur on them that President Barack Obama wrongly said AARP endorsed the bills in a recent town hall forum.

In materials provided to CBS News on Monday, AARP said 60,000 citizens have left its membership rolls in protest over its general support for the government-run health care plan.

(See rest of article at link noted above.)

Added 090824

http://www.lifenews.com/nb222.html has the start of an article that you might want to read in full. The source of the full article is http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204683204574358590107981718.html.

AUGUST 18, 2009, 7:12 P.M. ET

The Death Book for Veterans

Ex-soldiers don’t need to be told they’re a burden to society.

By JIM TOWEY

If President Obama wants to better understand why America’s discomfort with end-of-life discussions threatens to derail his health-care reform, he might begin with his own Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He will quickly discover how government bureaucrats are greasing the slippery slope that can start with cost containment but quickly become a systematic denial of care.

Last year, bureaucrats at the VA’s National Center for Ethics in Health Care advocated a 52-page end-of-life planning document, “Your Life, Your Choices.” It was first published in 1997 and later promoted as the VA’s preferred living will throughout its vast network of hospitals and nursing homes. After the Bush White House took a look at how this document was treating complex health and moral issues, the VA suspended its use. Unfortunately, under President Obama, the VA has now resuscitated “Your Life, Your Choices.”

Who is the primary author of this workbook? Dr. Robert Pearlman, chief of ethics evaluation for the center, a man who in 1996 advocated for physician-assisted suicide in Vacco v. Quill before the U.S. Supreme Court and is known for his support of health-care rationing.

“Your Life, Your Choices” presents end-of-life choices in a way aimed at steering users toward predetermined conclusions, much like a political “push poll.” For example, a worksheet on page 21 lists various scenarios and asks users to then decide whether their own life would be “not worth living.”

The circumstances listed include ones common among the elderly and disabled: living in a nursing home, being in a wheelchair and not being able to “shake the blues.” There is a section which provocatively asks, “Have you ever heard anyone say, ‘If I’m a vegetable, pull the plug’?” There also are guilt-inducing scenarios such as “I can no longer contribute to my family’s well being,” “I am a severe financial burden on my family” and that the vet’s situation “causes severe emotional burden for my family.”

When the government can steer vulnerable individuals to conclude for themselves that life is not worth living, who needs a death panel?

One can only imagine a soldier surviving the war in Iraq and returning without all of his limbs only to encounter a veteran’s health-care system that seems intent on his surrender.

I was not surprised to learn that the VA panel of experts that sought to update “Your Life, Your Choices” between 2007-2008 did not include any representatives of faith groups or disability rights advocates. And as you might guess, only one organization was listed in the new version as a resource on advance directives: the Hemlock Society (now euphemistically known as “Compassion and Choices”).

This hurry-up-and-die message is clear and unconscionable. Worse, a July 2009 VA directive instructs its primary care physicians to raise advance care planning with all VA patients and to refer them to “Your Life, Your Choices.” Not just those of advanced age and debilitated condition—all patients. America’s 24 million veterans deserve better.

Many years ago I created an advance care planning document called “Five Wishes” that is today the most widely used living will in America, with 13 million copies in national circulation. Unlike the VA’s document, this one does not contain the standard bias to withdraw or withhold medical care. It meets the legal requirements of at least 43 states, and it runs exactly 12 pages.

After a decade of observing end-of-life discussions, I can attest to the great fear that many patients have, particularly those with few family members and financial resources. I lived and worked in an AIDS home in the mid-1980s and saw first-hand how the dying wanted more than health care—they wanted someone to care.

If President Obama is sincere in stating that he is not trying to cut costs by pressuring the disabled to forgo critical care, one good way to show that commitment is to walk two blocks from the Oval Office and pull the plug on “Your Life, Your Choices.” He should make sure in the future that VA decisions are guided by values that treat the lives of our veterans as gifts, not burdens.

Mr. Towey, president of Saint Vincent College, was director of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives (2002-2006) and founder of the nonprofit Aging with Dignity.

That article led me to look for more information about the subject. Here are some other places you can go to read about it, including copies of the VA document and Towey’s document so that you can compare them (especially in light of the criticism leveled in some articles). 

http://mediamatters.org/research/200908240011

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090823000200AARqahD

http://www.learningplaceonline.com/stages/together/wishes/wishes-1.htm (Towey’s document)

http://www.ethics.va.gov/YLYC/YLYC_First_edition_20001001.pdf (VA document, but might be gone or replaced in the future)

http://www.lifenews.com/bio2933.html 
Senator Wants Hearings on Obama Admin Veterans Guide Promoting Euthanasia

 

http://www.lifenews.com/nb222.html

Terri Schiavo Family Again Raises Concerns About Health Care Legislation

St. Petersburg, FL (LifeNews.com) — The family of Terri Schiavo, the woman whose former husband subjected her to a painful 13-day starvation and dehydration euthanasia death, is again speaking up against the health care legislation in Congress. The Schindler family is concerned that the government will be making decisions about people’s heath care that could lead to rationing or, even worse, euthanasia. Recently, during a nationally televised event at the White House, President Obama said that families need better information so they don’t unthinkingly approve, “additional tests or additional drugs that the evidence shows is not necessarily going to improve care.” He added: “Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller.” The Schindler family responded: “Do we need any more evidence how this President and his administration feel about the equality and dignity of human life? It seems to be becoming more and more clear that if the quality of your life has reached the point where – by the judgment of a government official – your condition will no longer improve, the Obama health care plan will no longer allow any means of help. However, even more alarming is the real possibility of an Obama health care system that would seemingly put into practice an aggressive agenda to either hasten death or, worse yet, impose death on our cognitively disabled, chronically sick and frail. Who is going to decide whether or not ‘you’re better off’ with or without the surgery? What about ‘additional tests’ or ‘extra care”? Will it be your physician or will it be President Obama?”

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