Friday, August 14, 2009

Political Scare Tactics Violate Human Dignity

Sarah Palin[1] and others have referred to a section of one of the Bills in the House of Representatives (HR3200-1233) as justification for their claim that Congress intends to enact “Death Panels” as a way to frighten us senior citizens. Please find below, verbatim, the defining text from this section. You will note that the “death panel” that Mrs. Palin sees here is made up of your family and your doctor!

Defining Texts from HR3200 Section 1233:

“The term ‘advance care planning consultation’ means a consultation between the individual and a practitioner described in paragraph (2) regarding advance care planning, if, subject to paragraph (3), the individual involved has not had such a consultation within the last 5 years. Such consultation shall include the following:

(A) An explanation by the practitioner of advance care planning, including
key questions and considerations, important steps, and suggested people to talk to.

(B) An explanation by the practitioner of advance directives, including living wills
and durable powers of attorney, and their uses.

(C)An explanation by the practitioner of the role and responsibilities of a health care proxy.

(D)The provision by the practitioner of a list of national and State-specific resources
to assist consumers and their families with advance care planning, including the
national toll-free hotline, the advance care planning clearinghouses, and State legal
service organizations (including those funded through
the Older Americans Act of 1965).

(E) An explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services
and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits
for such services and supports that are available under this title.”

Subsection (F) provides that your practitioner answer all your questions including those about the rules and requirements of your state of residence. Then in paragraph (2) the term “practitioner is defined.

“ A practitioner described in this paragraph is—

(A) a physician ---

(B) a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant who has
he authority under State law to sign orders for life sustaining treatments.”

This law does not create these consultations! Many of us have had these discussions with our family and our doctor. Many of us have served as healthcare proxies for our loved ones and many have created healthcare directives to be sure that our end of life healthy care conforms to our moral and spiritual desires.

This law does, however, make these consultations an item covered by medicare. Those politician that characterize this fact as “a government death panel” or a “requirement that seniors be euthanized” reveal their gross disrespect for us seniors through their lie. Their willingness to terrorize[2] seniors leads me to ask who they are really serving if not us?
[1] Americans United For Life Web Site -

[2] Merriam Webster :
Main Entry: ter·ror·ize - Pronunciation: \ˈter-ər-ˌīz\ - Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): ter·ror·ized; ter·ror·iz·ing, Date: 1823
1: to fill with terror or anxiety : scare
2 : to coerce by threat or violence
— ter·ror·i·za·tion \ˌter-ər-ə-ˈzā-shən\ noun

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