Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
Part of the controversial health care reform proposal in Congress that discusses “end-of-life” counseling and medical procedures that could be rationed based on the age of the patient and other factors was written by suicide advocates who argue openly for the “right” to death, according to reports.
“Come again that promotion of euthanasia isn’t part of Section 1233?” Stanek wrote in her new explanation of the dangers of the health care plan. “Kudos to FRC’s The Cloakroom …for drawing attention to the fact that the two authors of Section 1233 are major proponents of euthanasia and assisted suicide.”
The authors of the section include an Oregon congressman who has argued for assisted suicide before federal courts and an organization that openly boasts it helps “thousands of clients each year by … guiding their search for a peaceful, humane death….”
FRC Action reports the group “has been getting some heat” for its criticism of the plan.
“Today comes (a) smoking gun … with the group Compassion & Choices coming out defending the questionable rationing portions of the bill and admitting THEY ACTUALLY WROTE THE LANGUAGE!” FRC Action said.
Stanek took up the explanation:
“The group Compassion & Choices, formerly known as the Hemlock Society, also says it had a hand in crafting Section 1233, writing July 27: ‘Compassion & Choices has worked tirelessly with supportive members of Congress to include in proposed reform legislation a provision requiring Medicare to cover patient consultation with their doctors about end-of-life choice (section 1233 of House Bill 3200),’” she wrote.
“Compassion & Choices calls itself part of the ‘aid-in-dying movement,’” she continued, quoting from the organization’s description of itself:
An organization dedicated to care of terminally ill patients, including those seeking a hastened death
Compassion & Choices … improves care and expands choice at the end of life
Our professional staff and trained volunteers help thousands of clients each year by … guiding their search for a peaceful, humane death
We offer information on self-determined dying
The second party claiming authorship of some of the controversial parts of the plan is Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., who wrote about his state’s “Death with Dignity” law that allows doctors to give patients fatal doses of medication:
“The amicus brief I have filed with other members of the delegation supports the (appellate) court’s decision to uphold Oregon’s Death with Dignity law. In 1994, Oregon overwhelmingly approved physician-assisted suicide in a statewide vote. … Former U.S. Attorney General Ashcroft repeatedly attempted to undermine the Oregon law using various methods. Each time the judge ruled in favor of the Oregon law. I am pleased that Attorney General Gonzalez’ attempt to overturn the will of the people has been no more successful than his predecessor’s.”
While physician assisted suicide is a contentious issue, it is an issue handled at the state level and the attorney general should not be permitted to deprive the citizens of Oregon and the nation the opportunity to make end of life decisions.”
Blumenauer has condemned criticism of the Obama plan’s provisions.
“The provision included in H.R. 3200 simply allows Medicare to pay for a conversation between patients and their doctors if the patient wishes to speak about his or her preferences and values,” the congressman said. “The new Medicare benefit would allow doctors to be compensated for these conversations every five years, and more frequently if a patient has a life-limiting illness or health status changes.”
He said without such “discussions,” “families are left struggling to make decisions in the midst of turmoil.”
Citing its work on the language of the bill, the group said, “Anti-choice extremists and their allies in Congress have begun attacking this critical provision, saying it will ‘promote euthanasia’ and that it’s part of a cynical plan to deny health care to the elderly and terminally ill.”
On Stanek’s blog, participants shared her alarm.
“What’s conspicuously absent is a provision that the patient consents to orders written after the counseling session. Or that the orders be written by the patient’s primary care physician,” wrote one.
“‘Self determined dying’ sounds as innocent and good for us as ‘women’s reproductive health,’” said another. “Have to dress it up to sell it.”
“Frankly, the death culture has strongly permeated our nation, especially among the liberal elite,” wrote a third. “Many of them will either deny, make fun of or outright oppose the pro-life position.”
Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, has had his organization analyze the plan. He confirmed it contains health care rationing, a national health ID card complete with government access to personal bank accounts, government decisions on what health care benefits are available and mandatory taxpayer support for abortion.
Staver condemned the health plan as worse than China’s mandatory one-child policy.
The Liberty Counsel analysis said under Section 1308, the government will dictate marriage and family therapy as well as mental health services, including the definitions of those treatments. Under Section 1401, a Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research would be set up, creating a bureaucracy through which federal employees could determine whether any treatment is “comparatively effective” for any individual based on the cost, likely success and probably the years left in life.
It also, according to Staver, “covers abortions, transsexual surgeries, encourages counseling as to how many children you should have, whether you should increase the interval between children.”
The Liberty Counsel analysis also pointed out the government would be allowed to ration health care procedures, prevent “judicial review” of its decision, tell doctors what income they can have, impose new taxes for anyone not having an “acceptable” coverage, regulate whether seniors can have wheelchairs, penalize hospitals or doctors whose patients require “readmission,” prevent the expansion of hospitals and set up procedures for home visits by health care analysts.
Under Section 440, Liberty Counsel said, the government “will design and implement Home Visitation Program for families with young kids and families that expect children.” And Section 194 provides for a program that has the government “coming into your house and teaching/telling you how to parent,” LC said.