Brought to you courtesy of those warm, cuddly, empathetic Democrat congressmen and women is a provision stashed away in the mammoth health care reform legislation to possibly provide you with an end-of-life means to ease you out of this world, whether you want easing or not. Here’s the word from Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) and Rep. John Boehner (R-OH):
Statement by House GOP Leaders Boehner and McCotter
End-of-Life Treatment Counseling in Democrats’ Health Care Legislation
WASHINGTON, DC – House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Republican Policy Committee Chairman Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) today issued the following joint statement regarding a provision targeting seniors contained in Section 1233 of H.R. 3200:
“Section 1233 of the House-drafted legislation encourages health care providers to provide their Medicare patients with counseling on ‘the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration’ and other end of life treatments, and may place seniors in situations where they feel pressured to sign end of life directives they would not otherwise sign. This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia if enacted into law. At a minimum this legislative language deserves a full and open public debate – the sort of debate that is impossible to have under the politically-driven deadlines Democratic leaders have arbitrarily set for enactment of a health care bill.
“This provision of the legislation is a throwback to 1977, when the old Department of Health Education and Welfare proposed federal promotion of living wills for cost-savings purposes described as ‘enormous.’ At that time, the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago decried this effort by saying: ‘The message is clear: government can save money by encouraging old people to die a little sooner than they otherwise would. Instead of being regarded with reverence, and cherished, human life is subject in this view to a utilitarian cost-benefit calculus and can be sacrificed to serve fiscal policy and the sacred imperative of trimming a budget.’
“With three states having legalized physician-assisted suicide, this provision could create a slippery slope for a more permissive environment for euthanasia, mercy-killing and physician-assisted suicide because it does not clearly exclude counseling about the supposed benefits of killing oneself.
“Health care reform that fails to protect the sanctity and dignity of all human life is not reform at all.”
My opinion is that each of us have the right to execute a living will. Because some do not, not because they are opposed to making their own decision about their own death, but simply because they are not responsible enough to make the decision, does not mean that some one on the other end should make the decision for them. From my experience, most doctors work with the families to make end-of-life decisions. Why should the government have anything to say about this? I say, “stay off of my deathbed.”
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