Scripting the Conversation, Part 2: The provider-patient dialogue

My last post —  Scripting “the Conversation” — discussed scripted dialogue at the national level.  It demonstrated how a few academics, so-called health policy experts, special interest groups, and foundations can stage a national dialogue — frame a conversation — with the help of their media allies.

The same group of academics and foundations have been at work on the micro level, generating scripts — literally word-for-word scripts — to be used by providers when they encounter difficult situations with patients and families, mostly in the context of patients and families who want life-sustaining treatment. Continue reading “Scripting the Conversation, Part 2: The provider-patient dialogue”

Scripting “The Conversation”

They’re at it again. NPR hosted another sham debate. On the left we have Ira Byock, hospice and palliative care advocate; and on the far left we have Compassion & Choices, the radical pro-assisted suicide/euthanasia group.

They are debating a subject that no one would have noticed if it weren’t for well-coordinated media hype from MSNBC, People Magazine and the like.

This is a staged “dialogue” on assisted suicide. Compassion & Choices presents the thesis (assisted suicide should be legal), then Ira Byock comes in with a straw man antithesis (traditional medicine will let you suffer) and then the synthesis: palliative care.

Here’s the dirty little secret: Ira Byock is, himself, a euthanasia advocate. Continue reading “Scripting “The Conversation””

Behind-the-scenes audio from the Patient Quality of Life Coalition training session

Last month I wrote about the Lobby Day hosted by the Patient Quality of Life Coalition (PQLC) and American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network (ACS-CAN)Title-Slide The Coalition invited representatives of a variety of non-profits and professional organizations to Capitol Hill to lobby for two pieces of legislation:

The legislation would focus federal money on marketing palliative care to the public, educating teams of professionals in Continue reading “Behind-the-scenes audio from the Patient Quality of Life Coalition training session”

Progressives lobby for end-of-life funding “to change health care delivery”

On July 23 a new pro-Obamacare coalition called the Patient Quality of Life Coalition (PQLC) lobbied on Capitol Hill for “two bills to change health care delivery.”

The bills (H.R. 1339 / S. 641; and H.R. 1666) would authorize (to start) roughly $300 million for advertising to the public, training navigators, educating health professionals, establishing a national supervisory board, and promoting research, all with the goal of replacing standard care with palliative care (symptom treatment and hospice) for sick people, in lieu of costly life-saving treatments.

Dick Woodruff -- former chief of staff to Rosa DeLauro; former legislative advisor for Alliance for Justice -- gives the PQLC lobbyists some final instructions.
Dick Woodruff — former chief of staff to Rosa DeLauro; former legislative advisor for Alliance for Justice — gives the PQLC lobbyists some final instructions.

Veteran lobbyist Dick Woodruff explained why the urgency:  “Because these people who have these illnesses . . . are the ones who are driving healthcare costs more than anybody else . .  if we can figure out a way to manage their care, we can make life better for them, but then save the system money. . . .  [These bills] could have major returns over the next 25-45 years.” [my emphasis]

Woodruff, who served as chief of staff for Rosa DeLauro (of EMILY’s List fame), and later as senior Continue reading “Progressives lobby for end-of-life funding “to change health care delivery””

For Joan Rivers, palliative care was end-of-life care

The news of Joan Rivers’ passing was heartbreaking.  Her death was tragic; her friends and family must be in shock at the loss.

We’ll probably never know all the details, nor do we need to know.  What we have learned from this tragedy, however, is that palliative care is implicitly end-of-life care.  Furthermore, this was palliative care at Mt. Sinai — home of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC). Continue reading “For Joan Rivers, palliative care was end-of-life care”