Meddlecare 184

Anyone for death?

A website named Compassion and Choices – deceptively, since it should accurately be named Pitilessness and Compulsion –  says this:

New Medicare regulations to take effect January 1 will include a provision physicians, social workers and families pushed for. The New York Times reports:

“Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.”

In truth, the consultation is not about forgoing treatment, as advance directives are equally suited to requesting life-sustaining treatment. Thus, this Medicare enhancement simply encourages communication, promotes choice, compensates doctors for important care and empowers patients.

Let’s examine this. Compassion and Choices is a leading pro-euthanasia organization. It is only sweet-talking about “life-sustaining” treatments. The NYT – which obviously agrees with Compassion and Choices – sneaks the word “aggressive” in front of the phrase, to warn you against opting for treatment if you’re old and in the way.

There are good arguments for euthanasia, provided it is always the choice of the euthanased (to coin a word). All sane adults can make that choice like any other – in advance if they want to, though doing so commits them to suffer action by others that they might not really want when the critical moment comes and communication may be difficult or impossible. One visualizes the possibility of desperation and panic in a struggle to cancel instructions given when death was not staring one in the face. Yeeow!

Why is it necessary for doctors to inform people that they can forgo treatment if they want to? And to be paid a special fee for doing so? This is statist thinking. The view from the left. Anti-free  as always.

Compassion and Choices goes on: “this Medicare enhancement [ah, an enhancement!] simply [“openly”, “innocently”] encourages communication, promotes choice, compensates doctors for important care and empowers patients.

So much good! Who can possibly object?

But why do people need to be encouraged to communicate? Are most Americans tongue-tied?

Does choice need to be promoted? The choice, remember, is between life and death. Who is unaware that as long as you live the choice of death is yours?

Why should doctors need “compensation” for telling people what they already know? Without being exceptionally sensitive, one can feel a creepy implication here!  Maybe because what doctor’s are really being urged to do is advise sick people to choose death? And maybe doctors are not usually willing to do that, so they need a little extra inducement, aka a bribe?

Finally, this program of nudging to death is said to “empower patients”. Watch that word empower – it stands out in bold capitals in the lexicon of the left. But no patient gains any more power by being told he or she can choose death than he or she has always had, so nothing changes … unless ….

Unless all this talk by Compassion and Choices is preparing a way to legal murder; a seeking for wording that could be interpreted as allowing something far worse than a death panel – a Law of Life-Limitation; the state claiming the right to raise a sign saying “Come In Number X, Your Time Is Up “.

What is sickening about these ever-so-compassionate choosers is their unresisted desire to meddle in the lives of the rest of us. Through a meddlesome state. All for our own good, of course, as always. They know best how we should live, and how and when we should die.

Like it or not, the old are to be routinely badgered to grant permission for their lives to be cut short as “this improvement to Medicare” is implemented pronto this month. Compassion and Choice are cock-a-hoop about it. It’s “a long-awaited response to those families who didn’t know their loved ones’ preferences when confronted with difficult decisions in an emergency”. Families have been begging, you see, for the state to make grannies and grandpas tell them to switch that thing off, and at last a reluctant state has acceded to the popular clamor.

With the coming of the New Year, Medicare will begin empowering seniors to consider the care that is right for them when they face the end of life, and better ensure their wishes control the care they receive.

Sure, they’ve only to lie there wishing and they’ll stay in control.

For all their openness and innocence, behind all the smiles, the Apostles of Death scratch at a little itchy spot of guilt.

So we learn from LifeNews, which brings us this information:

The Democrat who started the latest national debate over the inclusion of so-called “death panels” by the Obama administration into federal regulations now regrets doing so.

The office of Representative Earl Blumenauer, an assisted suicide advocate from Oregon who works closely with pro-euthanasia groups like Compassion and Choices, alerted supporters of the change the Obama administration implemented and worked to ask them to keep the news quiet.

“We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists e-mails can too easily be forwarded,” his staff wrote. “Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this [regulation] goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.

The memo talked of a “quiet” victory and had the congressman worrying about how Republican leaders would “use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth.”

But reported on the new regulations and, weeks later, the New York Times got a copy of the memo Blumenauer wrote and the national dustup began.

Now, Blumenauer told The Hill that he regrets [not the program of murder, but] the secretive language used in the email, which he says he did not see beforehand. …

Still, he defended the controversial new regulation. …

Tom McClusky of the Family Research Council commented on the memo and said pro-life people need to understand the importance of Blumenauer’s role in the debate.

“Blumenauer is very important to this tale for it is with him that the legislative origins of the assisted suicide language begin,” he said. “The origins of the language are extremely important when you think about the motivation of the people behind it.”

“The original bill language would provide Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to doctors who direct people to take their own lives instead of seek treatment and was written by a group called Compassion & Choices, an offshoot of a group from the 1980′s that called itself the Hemlock Society, the nation’s leading advocate for assisted suicide,” McClusky explained. “Ultimately the language was not in the final passed bill, though many other factors leading to rationing were included.”

Although the advanced directives apparently can’t be used to facilitate an assisted suicide, there is concern physicians will pressure or persuade patients to make decisions that would ration care or withdraw lifesaving medical treatment.

So the language finally adopted does not [yet] allow actual “assisted suicide”; but it allows treatment to be “rationed” – ie withheld – which may amount to the same thing. Or worse – cold-blooded murder.