A step beyond food fascism

Are “culture of health” and “culture of death” mutually exclusive?  Ask most refugees from 1930s socialist Europe, and my guess is their answer will not only be “no,” but more likely “the former ushers in the latter.”  That is to say, it is difficult to imagine a culture that assigns a value on human beings based upon their health, without questioning what that culture does to human beings who are judged to be “not healthy.” Continue reading “A step beyond food fascism”

Bernard Shaw — Poster boy for shared decision-making?

Bernard Shaw, euthanasia and death panel advocate, remarked: You must all know half a dozen people at least who are no use in this world, who are more trouble than they are worth. Just put them there and say Sir, or Madam, now will you be kind enough to justify your existence?"
Bernard Shaw, euthanasia and death panel advocate:  “You must all know half a dozen people at least who are no use in this world, who are more trouble than they are worth. Just put them there and say Sir, or Madam, now will you be kind enough to justify your existence?”

How perfect.  Bernard Shaw as the spokesman for decision aids for terminally ill patients.

I’m sure the irony was lost on the author of “The Judges Have Spoken: Decision Aid Upgrade Design Challenge Winners Announced” as she opened her story with a quotation from Shaw.

The article announced the winners of a contest sponsored by California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) to develop new tools to coach cancer patients and their families in treatment decisions.  Not surprisingly, the shared decision-making tool that won first prize from CHCF coaches the patient toward palliative care. Continue reading “Bernard Shaw — Poster boy for shared decision-making?”

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””