I just had to repost this,
Seeing his “authority” is a doctor who performed(s) assisted suicide (euthinasia)….
What they do not go into is THE PANELS that will decide on PAYING FOR TREATMENT your doctor prescribes, deciding IF YOU ARE VALUABLE enough to society to authorize YOUR DOCTOR to treat you!
We have had “Living Wills”, PoA Certificates, treatment option counceling, end of life counseling, ect… for DECADES!
This article is trying to explain an apple by disecting an orange…
Mark Hare January 9, 2011
If you’ve ever been the voice for a dying parent or spouse or close friend, you know why end-of-life planning is so important. If you think “end-of-life” is a euphemism meant to sugarcoat a harsh reality, then call it death planning. I don’t care what you call it.
Just don’t give me any of this partisan nonsense that is finding new life (excuse the pun) in Washington. The original health care reform bill, you’ll recall, allowed payment every five years for a consultation on end-of-life directives. Critics said the provision would lead to “death panels” with government bureaucrats deciding who lives and who dies. Democrats gave in (foolishly, I think) and pulled the provision.
The 2011 Medicare regulations permit fees for doctors who, as part of an annual health review, discuss a patient’s end-of-life options.
Critics immediately revived their charges of government-run “death panels” and the Obama administration backed off the new regulation. Sigh.
There was nothing in the original bill, and there is nothing in the regulations, that creates death panels. The whole point to such conversations is “to make sure the patient’s voice is heard,” says Dr. Timothy Quill, professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Medical Humanities at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and also director of the university’s palliative care program.
What the research shows, Quill says, is that when end-of-life care is not discussed, “there is a lot of treatment that is unnecessary” — treatment that doesn’t save a life, or necessarily prolong it.
The question isn’t “Who’s going to pull the plug on Grandma?” but “What does Grandma want when it’s clear that medicine can’t save her life?”
It’s impossible to know what she wants unless we talk to her, unless her family and doctor find out what life means to her. There’s nothing easy about it.
Fortunately, my mother did explain her wishes to my sister and me before she took the fall that led to her death. It wasn’t a perfect or detailed conversation, but it was enough for us to know what she didn’t want, and enough for us to know that when the time came, letting her go was OK. No death panel called the shots.
These conversations occur already, Quill says, but many doctors won’t approach the subject unless a patient raises the question. By authorizing Medicare to pay a fee for this consultation, he says, “it makes it count” — it legitimizes end-of-life planning as part of modern medical care.
“The conversations need to be mainstreamed,” he says. Study after study, and personal experience after personal experience, point to the same truth: As they approach death, most people welcome the chance to talk and want to improve the quality of the time they have.
These conversations don’t have neat endings. What does it mean to be dying when bodily functions can be prolonged indefinitely? Where is the line between accepting the finality of life and giving up on life?
“There are no right answers except for the ones the patient comes up with,” Quill says. Nothing in law or regulation requires end-of-life planning. “If people don’t want to talk, they don’t have to,” he says.
But most of us, finally, want a chance to deal honestly with the realities of dying — without the political fright theater. http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20110109/NEWS0201/101090318/1005