This is not any kind of admission by the Senate panel that Sarah Palin knew what she was talking about [Score One for Sarah Palin on the Healthcare Reform Death Panels, usnews.com]. She was telling a proven lie about this part of the bill, which was proposed by Republican Johnny Isakson. This was a triumph of misinformation, nothing more. The Senate decided it was not worth the fight. I wish they had decided differently, and not because I thought the provision to the bill was critical. The larger issue is that every time we allow lies and misinformation to win we sow the seed for more lies and misinformation. "We the people" put more power in the hands of politicians every time we reward them for lying to our faces.
Comment by Myron of NC
As a 25-year critical care nurse, I was hoping people would not believe the misinformation being circulated about this bill. Everyone should understand their options for end of life care, and have this discussion with their doctor. Since this is not a 15-minute conversation, it makes sense to actually pay a physician to sit down and have this discussion. We spend a huge amount of money to painfully prolong life, when the patient and family would be better served in a hospice-like setting. If you want to die in an ICU, fine, but in my experience most people would rather not. This is not about euthanasia. Anyone with complex and often terminal illnesses should be able to determine how aggressive they want their care to be.
Comment by Kate Morrow of OR
No, Sarah did not know what she was talking about. End of life consultation is/has been used to allow the patient/individual to decide what measures should be used to keep them alive should the time come when an illness or accident should render them near death, and not able to make decisions for themselves. Living wills have an important place in all our planning, as are our wills to distribute our material wealth. A consultation of this nature should take place when the individual is well and not at death's door, which is what happens in most cases. Healthcare is too important to be left to politicians and insurance companies. The erroneous information being disseminated does not help the discourse. We all must get involved. Not by fear mongering, but by asking the important questions to enlighten the public. The uninsured cost us all. Hospitals must treat anyone in their ER, and the public pays the bill, one way or another. Let's try to craft legislation that helps the uninsured, controls insurance costs and discriminatory actions, allows freedom of choice, and doesn't break the bank.
Comment by Frank Gaudiano of NJ
In 2002, my mother got end of life counseling from her doctor. I don't understand the big deal about it. She was on Medicare, the treatment ran its course. Her cancer was incurable. The doctor's visit was covered for this appointment and her discussion re: hospice and living will. No one presented it as assisting her in her own suicide. I think in order to pick apart the bill people are really getting crazy with misinterpreting the facts. In 1971, my brother died of lupus, same situation with private insurance. So it had nothing to do with who was in office. People need to smarten up. The only people I can see not understanding are people who have never lost a loved one and never experienced the process.
Comment by Pat of IL
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