Congressional Health Care Reform Bill Criticized for Promoting Elderly Euthanasia

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 23, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Congressional Health Care Reform Bill Criticized for Promoting Elderly Euthanasia

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 23
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The pro-life community is focused on the pro-abortion problems with the health care restructuring bills Congress is considering, but there appears to be another threat. One patients’ advocate who is the former New York lieutenant governor, says the bill also promotes elderly euthanasia.

The government-run health care plan the House is considering would require "end of life" counseling for seniors.

In section 1233 of the tri-committee health care bill, a government-run "Advance Care Planning Consultation" is created.

Betsy McCaughey, in an interview with former presidential candidate Fred Thompson on his radio show warned people to "protect their parents" from the measure and said the consultation is essentially an attempt to kill off elderly Americans.

"One of the most shocking things is page 425, where the Congress would make it mandatory absolutely that every five years people in Medicare have a required counseling session," she said. "They will tell [them] how to end their life sooner.

A WorldNetDaily report indicates the bill calls for the recommendation of "palliative care and hospice" in the mandatory counseling sessions, which is pain relief as patients die.

The House bill requires "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."

The measure also recommends a discursion on "the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration" and WND suggests that elderly patients could be advised not to receive it, which would hasten death.

McCaughey is also criticizing another section of the bill.

Calling it a "Quality Reporting Initiative," the bill says, "For purposes of reporting data on quality measures for covered professional services furnished during 2011 and any subsequent year, to the extent that measures are available, the Secretary shall include quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that have been adopted or endorsed by a consensus-based organization, if appropriate. Such measures shall measure both the creation of and adherence to orders for life-sustaining treatment."

McCaughey, told Thompson, "As a patient advocate I am so shocked at the vicious assault on elderly people and the boomer generation. I hope people listening will protect their parents from what is intended under this bill."

According to WND, McCaughey said that the bill has a provision requiring the counseling every five years and mandating it when a patient’s situation changes — such as a move into a nursing home.

She said the message to patients is "to do what’s in society’s best interests, and cut your life short."

"Can you imagine the response of the American people (when they find out)?" Thompson asked in response.

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