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
Once again the administration is trying to push through by fiat — with a few new twists — what Congress and the American public have already rejected.
Not only is the government offering an incentive to physicians (and presumably the hospitals and clinics and nursing homes that hire them) to have “end-of-life” conversations with their sickest patients, but there is question as to which other “qualified professionals” might be be paid to introduce end-of-life discussions to patients. Continue reading
Thanks to Mark Levin for his plain-language critique last week of the proposed CMS payment codes for (endless) end-of-life conversations. Levin speaks for many elderly, sick and vulnerable patients and their families who are being pressured into “letting go,” and this even without government-paid end-of-life talks.
In case you missed it, this was Chris Dawe last year, shortly after he left the Obama administration, and before he joined Evolent Health — a consulting company founded by the Advisory Board and the Univ. of Pittsburgh Health Plan “to help health systems move towards providing value-based care.” (Advisory Board, which consults for C-TAC, was founded by David Bradley, now Chairman of Atlantic Media.)
Ezekiel Emanuel is taking his I-Hope-To-Die-at-75 road show to Switzerland at the invitation of the University of Geneva, where he will be speaking today.
I am opposed to euthanasia and assisted suicide. I feel that people who want that recourse mainly suffer from depression and fear of losing their dignity; we must first provide them with care and compassion. I will not put an end to my life intentionally. But I will not try to prolong it either! From age 75, I will accept neither predictive tests nor care – except for palliative care that reduces pain. I’ll do no more cardiac tests. I will not take more antibiotics and I will not be vaccinated against the flu. If I have cancer, I will refuse any treatment.