For historical purposes this article is mirrored from https://www.liveaction.org/news/house-bill-euthanasia-part-palliative-care/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook
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Groups fear congressional bill could make euthanasia part of ‘palliative care’

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UPDATE, 8/27/19: Live Action News was contacted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in response to this article. The USCCB stands in support of the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training (PCHETA) bill, and USCCB representative Greg Schleppenbach stated in an email:

There are two provisions that were added to PCHETA, at our request, to keep the philosophy that supports [physician-assisted suicide] out of the training funded by this bill. First, PCHETA has a provision (Sec. 5(a)) that ensures that “None of the funds made available under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) may be used to provide, promote, or provide training with regard to any item or service for which Federal funding is unavailable under section 3 of Public Law 105–12 (42 U.S.C. 14402).” 

The law cited is the Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act (ASFRA) which forbids providing federal assistance to “any health care item or service furnished for the purpose of causing, or for the purpose of assisting in causing, the death of any individual such as by assisted suicide, euthanasia, or mercy killing.” This provision forbids funding of any activity, which would include training under H.R. 647, aimed at causing or assisting in causing death. Euthanasia, mercy killing, and assisted suicide are mentioned as examples, but they are not exhaustive. The language of the ASFRA has prevented federal funds and federal health facilities from being used for assisted suicide for over twenty years. 

Second, an additional protective provision was added to Sec. 5 in the Senate version (S. 2080) this year. The House bill was introduced before this language was agreed upon, so it does not contain it, but the Senate version will prevail if the bill is passed in both Houses. This additional provision was added in response to some criticisms that the ASFRA reference was not sufficient to address activities (actions or omissions) not clearly covered by ASFRA.

The new protective language reads: “Sec. 5(b) ADDITIONAL CLARIFICATION.—As used in this Act (or an amendment made by this Act), palliative care and hospice shall not be furnished for the purpose of causing, or the purpose of assisting in causing, a patient’s death, for any reason.”

Schleppenbach added that “This provision is important because for the first time anywhere in federal law or regulations it explicitly states that palliative and hospice care cannot be furnished for the purpose of causing or assisting in causing death.  These protective provisions were added as a condition of our support for this bill. Now, not only does the USCCB support this bill but (also due to these protective provisions) the Catholic Medical Association also supports the bill.”

The USCCB believes the bill is “worthy of passage,” according to Schleppenbach, who adds that “without PCHETA, there are currently NO SAFEGUARDS guiding the training of medical professionals in [palliative care/hospice].”

8/21/19: So-called advances in medicine are not always what they claim to be—and hospice care is no exception. This appears to be the case with The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), which the U.S. House of Representatives approved in 2018. Though it failed, it is now being rebranded as H.R. 647. The act, some say, is a backdoor to taking advantage of vulnerable individuals.

Julie Grimstad, President of the Board of Directors for HALO, the Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization, refers to H.R. 647 as a “closet euthanasia” bill, in an article published by Pro-Life Wisconsin. HALO’s mission, according to the group’s websiteis to “promote, protect, and advocate for the rights of the medically vulnerable through direct patient and family interactions; through community education and awareness programs; and through promotion and development of concrete life-affirming healthcare—defined as medical care in which the paramount principle is the sanctity of life.”

HALO is vehemently against “all attempts to enact legislation promoting hospice and palliative medicine (HPM) that does not explicitly prohibit providers from committing euthanasia as traditionally defined.”

Tragically, the goal of HPM has been shifting from helping patients who are dying to helping patients die, notes Dr. Farr A. Curlin, a palliative medicine specialist at Duke University. “Many patients and their families don’t trust HPM and are resistant to it,” says Curlin, adding:

I encounter such individuals in the hospital and in the community, among people of all walks of life and social strata but particularly among ethnic minorities and members of religious communities. These individuals tell stories about loved ones who declined slowly over time, fighting the good fight with the support and companionship of their family members and friends. When HPM professionals became involved in their care, their loved ones were put on powerful drugs, became unconscious and unresponsive, and were soon dead.

These stories are clearly shared within communities and powerfully shape people’s perceptions of HPM, which many see as a sophisticated and seductive way of getting people to die.

HALO’s Grimstad warns, “If H.R. 647 becomes law, more people will be railroaded into being ‘helped to die’: people who are not otherwise near death—people YOU care about.”

READ: ‘Euthanasia parties’ wrongly celebrate suicide and send contrary messages

Equally worrisome, notes Grimstad, is the likelihood that HPM leaders partnered with the pro-euthanasia Compassion and Choices group and Death with Dignity National Center would be the ones designing “educational programs financed by government grants” to support the idea of assisted suicide and euthanasia. “Consider who these ‘educators’ might be,” she says. “When leaders in HPM are comfortable with deliberately ending patients’ lives, is hospice and palliative care safe for patients? These leaders must not be federally financed to educate others in the art of killing.”

There is a significant risk that this Act would establish “medical aid in dying as palliative care,” and would “legalize euthanasia as traditionally defined in federal centers throughout the nation,” says attorney Margaret Dore, as quoted by Pro-Life WI.

HALO president Julie Grimstad told Live Action News that the group is “concentrating on the Senate, because this bill died in committee there last time and our best hope of killing this bill is to stop it in the Senate HELP committee again this time.” However, “HR 647 has not passed the House yet, but it did last time and there is overwhelming support for it in the House, which is Democrat controlled.” Read the group’s action alert here, which contains information on contacting your Senators about the bill. According to the action alert:

The Senate bill, S 2080, has this proposed amendment: “ADDITIONAL CLARIFICATION.—As used in this Act (or an amendment made by this Act), palliative care and hospice shall not be furnished for the purpose of causing, or the purpose of assisting in causing, a patient’s death, for any reason.” This amendment has no teeth—no provisions to ensure enforcement. This language will not stop the “stealth euthanasia”[1] deaths occurring in many hospice and palliative care settings. The federal government should be concerned about identifying dangerous palliative and hospice care, not promoting it.

The Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization (HALO) supports life-affirming palliative and hospice care that provides comfort and pain control, but we oppose government funding of education programs that will very likely be run by proponents of medical killing.

Editor’s Note, 8/23/19: Correction made, adding HALO’s action alert for contacting senators.

Editor’s Note, 8/27/19: USCCB statement added, title changed to reflect.

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For historical purposes this article is mirrored from https://www.prolifewi.org/blog/2019/2/11/the-federal-closet-euthanasia-bill-why-it-must-be-stopped

By Julie Grimstad, President, HALO Board of Directors

In 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill called the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA). Fortunately, this closet euthanasia bill failed to move in the Senate. Unfortunately, it has been reintroduced in the 116th Congress as H.R. 647.

The Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization (HALO) has profound respect for the sanctity of human life and promotes life-affirming healthcare. Therefore, for the following reasons, HALO will vigorously oppose all attempts to enact legislation promoting hospice and palliative medicine (HPM) that does not explicitly prohibit providers from committing euthanasia as traditionally defined.

HALO is concerned about the well-being and lives of all people.

HALO cites numerous tragic cases of our help being sought when a loved one was being overdosed with analgesics and sedatives, and/or denied basic care such as food and water and usual medications, or when a loved one’s death was hastened—in an HPM setting—without the family realizing what was happening at the time. Consequently, we are hard-pressed to identify which hospice and palliative care programs can be trusted to care for—not to kill—the patients entrusted to them.

Dr. Farr A. Curlin, a palliative medicine specialist at Duke University, validates our concerns:

Many patients and their families don’t trust HPM and are resistant to it. I encounter such individuals in the hospital and in the community, among people of all walks of life and social strata but particularly among ethnic minorities and members of religious communities. These individuals tell stories about loved ones who declined slowly over time, fighting the good fight with the support and companionship of their family members and friends. When HPM professionals became involved in their care, their loved ones were put on powerful drugs, became unconscious and unresponsive, and were soon dead. These stories are clearly shared within communities and powerfully shape people’s perceptions of HPM, which many see as a sophisticated and seductive way of getting people to die.[1]

Dr. Curlin warns, “When the goal of HPM shifts from helping patients who are dying to helping patients die, practices that render patients unconscious or hasten their death no longer seem to be last-resort options [emphasis added].” [2]

We question whether the need for pain relief is best met by promoting HPM. We urge legislators to investigate and expose dangerous drug overdoses, starvation and dehydration, and other patient abuses that occur in HPM. Considering legislation that promotes HPM without first doing so is putting the cart before the horse.

Furthermore, it is no secret that hospice fraud is rampant. People who could live for years more are being pushed into hospice and palliative care programs, thereby lining the pockets of providers. When patients are deliberately killed in hospice and palliative care settings, these murders are covered up easily by deceitfully claiming a pure intention to ease pain and suffering. Why pour more taxpayers’ funds into this healthcare boondoggle when many (albeit not all) HPM providers are stealing from us and killing us while pretending to care?

If H.R. 647 becomes law, more people will be railroaded into being “helped to die”: people who are not otherwise near death—people YOU care about.

HPM education funded by the government is unlikely to be life-affirming.

The educational programs financed by government grants would likely be designed and taught by HPM leaders in league with Compassion and Choices and the Death with Dignity National Center (DDNC)—organizations that advocate for euthanasia and assisted suicide. Consider who these “educators” might be.

Dr. Timothy E. Quill, president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), is a board member of the DDNC. In 1991, the New England Journal of Medicine published Quill’s article about providing a lethal dose of drugs (illegally) to his patient Diane. [3] In 1997, he was the respondent in the U.S. Supreme Court case Vacco v. Quill, which challenged the ban on assisted suicide in New York. He argued that there is no difference between refusing lifesaving medical treatment and assisted suicide. In 2013, he was celebrated by his peers as one of several “Hospice and Palliative Medicine Visionaries,” which indicates that his frightful views are representative of many who practice HPM.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) is the largest organization representing HPM programs and professionals in the United States. Moreover, reports Dr. Ralph A. Capone,

The NHPCO is the actual legal and corporate successor to the Euthanasia Society of America. The Euthanasia Society of America was successively known as the Society for the Right to Die, Choice in Dying, Partnership for Caring, and Last Acts Partnership before finally being absorbed into the NHPCO. This explains the contradiction between the publicly stated hospice mission and the reality in too many clinical settings. It appears that the NHPCO is intent on quietly subverting that life-affirming mission.[4]

When leaders in HPM are comfortable with deliberately ending patients’ lives, is hospice and palliative care safe for patients? These leaders must not be federally financed to educate others in the art of killing.

There is a real danger this Act will legalize euthanasia throughout the United States.

U.S. euthanasia advocates promote "medical aid in dying" (a euphemism for euthanasia and assisted suicide) as "palliative care." [5] Therefore, any federal legislation regarding HPM must define palliative care as excluding medical aid in dying. Also, a new “End of Life Options” bill in Delaware makes a legislative finding that “medical aid in dying” is “palliative care.” [6]

Attorney Margaret Dore, president of Choice is an Illusion, warns, “If this language becomes generally accepted, a proposed ‘Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act,’ which seeks to establish federal palliative care centers, will include medical aid in dying as palliative care. The Act will legalize euthanasia as traditionally defined in federal centers throughout the nation.” The Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization concurs and finds this to be a compelling argument for opposing H.R. 647.

Call to Action!

Please register your strong objections to this bill ASAP by contacting the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over H.R. 647. You may send a message to the Committee and/or to individual members. Their names and contact information can be found at: https://energycommerce.house.gov/about-ec/membership.

Also contact the Republican Members of the House who co-sponsored the PCHETA bill last Congress, especially if they represent you, and urge them not to sponsor H.R. 647. These House members are:

Rep. Schweikert, David [R-AZ-6]; Rep. Young, Don [R-AK-At Large]; Rep. Cook, Paul [R-CA-8]; Rep. LaMalfa, Doug [R-CA-1]; Rep. Lamborn, Doug [R-CO-5]; Rep. Tipton, Scott [R-CO-3]; Rep. Mast, Brian [R-FL-18]; Rep. Posey, Bill [R-FL-8]; Rep. Rutherford, John [R-FL-4]; Rep. Allen, Rick [R-GA-12]; Rep. Collins, Doug [R-GA-9]; Rep. Ferguson, Drew [R-GA-3]; Rep. Hice, Jody B. [R-GA-10]; Rep. Scott, Austin [R-GA-8]; Rep. Simpson, Michael [R-ID-2]; Rep. Bost, Mike [R-IL-12]; Rep. Davis, Rodney [R-IL-13]; Rep. LaHood, Darin [R-IL-18]; Rep. Marshall, Roger W. [R-KS-1]; Rep. Barr, Andy [R-KY-6]; Rep. Comer, James [R-KY-1]; Rep. Rogers, Harold [R-KY-5]; Rep. Emmer, Tom [R-MN-6]; Rep. Kelly, Trent [R-MS-1]; Rep. Palazzo, Steven M. [R-MS-4]; Rep. Smith, Jason [R-MO-8]; Rep. Bacon, Don [R-NE-2]; Rep. Fortenberry, Jeff [R-NE-1]; Rep. Amodei, Mark E. [R-NV-2]; Rep. Smith, Christopher H. [R-NJ-4]; Rep. Katko, John [R-NY-24]; Rep. King, Peter T. [R-NY-2]; Rep. Reed, Tom [R - NY- 23]; Rep. Stefanik, Elise M. [R-NY-21]; Rep. Zeldin, Lee M. [R-NY-1]; Rep. Rouzer, David [R-NC-7]; Rep. Chabot, Steve [R-OH-1]; Rep. Gibbs, Bob [R-OH-7]; Rep. Joyce, David P. [R-OH-14]; Rep. Stivers, Steve [R-OH-15]; Rep. Turner, Michael [R-OH-10]; Rep. Fitzpatrick, Brian [R-PA-8]; Rep. Smucker, Lloyd [R-PA-16]; Rep. Thompson, Glenn [R-PA-15]; Rep. Wilson, Joe [R-SC-2]; Rep. Kustoff, David [R-TN-8]; Rep. Roe, Phil [R-TN-1]; Rep. Conaway, Michael [R-TX-11]; Rep. Marchant, Kenny [R-TX-24]; Rep. McCaul, Michael [R-TX-10]; Rep. Thornberry, Mac [R-TX-13];  Rep. Stewart, Chris [R-UT-2]; Rep. Wittman, Robert J. [R-VA-1]; Rep. Herrera Beutler, Jaime [R-WA-3]; Rep. Newhouse, Dan [R-WA-4]; Rep. Mooney, Alexander [R-WV-2]; Rep. Gallagher, Mike [R-WI-8]; Rep. Sensenbrenner, J. [R-WI-5.

Thank you.

Monitor the current bill herehttps://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/647?r=42&s=1

For more informationhttp://www.choiceillusionendtheabuse.org/


Definitions:

“Euthanasia” is traditionally defined as an action (e.g., administration of a lethal agent) or an omission (e.g., denial of food and fluids and/or usual medications or care) that causes another person’s death. 

“Assisted suicide” means that a person provides the means or information for another person to commit suicide.

NOTES

1. Farr A. Curlin, MD, “Hospice and Palliative Medicine’s Attempt at an Art of Dying,” in Dying in the Twenty-First Century: Toward a New Ethical Framework for the Art of Dying Well, ed. Lydia Dugdale, MD (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2015), 48, https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/dying-twenty-first-century

2. Ibid., 58.

3. Timothy E. Quill, MD, “Death and Dignity – A Case of Individualized Decision Making,” New England Journal of Medicine 324 (March 7, 1991): 691‒694,https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199103073241010.

4. Ralph Capone, MD, FACP, et al., “The Rise of Stealth Euthanasia: Imposed Death Disguised as Pain Relief,” Ethics & Medics 38, no. 6 (June 2013), https://www.hospicepatients.org/capone-stevens-grimstad-panzer-ncbc-em-june2013-the-rise-of-stealth-euthanasia.pdf.

Hospice Patients Alliance, “From Euthanasia Society of Amer ica to National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (1938–Present),” http://www.hospicepatients.org/euthanasia-soc-of-america-to-natl-hosp-and-palliative-care-org.pdf.

5. For examples, see https://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/aid-palliative.pdf.

6. The Delaware End of Life Options bill (draft date January 4, 2019; seehttps://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/2019-end-of-life-options-act-no-number-yet.pdf) states, “WHEREAS, the integration of medical aid in dying into the standard for end-of-life care has improved quality of services by providing an additional palliative care option to terminally ill individuals [emphasis added].”

Don't Punish Pain group  http://dontpunishpainrally.com/  is protesting the limitations being placed on people who suffer from chronic pain -- making it harder for them to get their medications. Rallies will be held nationwide on September 18th. 

Please also contact your Congressmen and Senators to inform them that their approach is interfering with physician and patient relationships, is wrong-headed, is hurting the patients, and is making physicians afraid to do their job! 

 

Go to this link and sign the petition:

https://www.change.org/p/president-donald-trump-stop-forced-euthanasia-in-hospices?recruiter=54954223&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_petition&utm_term=triggered

 

If you have any trouble, any problems in submitting this petition please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for assistance.

 

Nancy Valko, RN explains why we need you need to call your Senators and Congressmen to oppose this intentionally poorly written bill!   Read her take:

 

Beware the New "Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act" (Senate Bill 693/House Bill 1676)

By Nancy Valko, RN September 1, 2018 Nancyvalko.com

https://nancyvalko.com/2016/10/17/is-compassion-and-choices-aiming-to-become-the-planned-parenthood-of-euthanasia/

 

Ron Panzer wrote:  Many of you ask, "What can I do to help?" "What can I do to stop the medical killing in hospice and elsewhere?"  Well, there is a Bill being proposed in Congress that may legalize stealth euthanasia by using vague language in a Bill that is supposed to promote "palliative care" and "hospice care."  Well, what exactly is "hospice" or "palliative care?"  Is it the original pro-life mission of hospice? Is "palliative care" really practiced in line with the clinical standards of care?  Sadly, in many cases, it absolutely is not!