It was becoming very clear to me that the more I fought, the more they would retaliate against me, and the more they were trying to prove me wrong. They had no respect for what I knew about my Mom's condition. They had no respect for my training and experience as an R.N. They had no respect for my values or my faith, and they certainly didn't care that they were hastening my Mom's death. They did not respect the sacredness of her life, to me, our family and to God.
The federal government has had a huge role in expanding hospice and especially rogue hospice. The creation of the Medicare Hospice benefit in 1983 was the start of the big push to increase utilization of hospice in the last year of life, the last six months. Government funding for and promotion of hospice has increased each year as we've seen. Many programs have been implemented to increase utilization of hospice and palliative care and the stakeholders who create national policy have included hospice and palliative care as part of the national strategy on health care. They view the end-of-life care industry as a vital part of the "solution" to out-of-control spending in health care. And while good end-of-life care can save compared to acute hospital treatment for patients who are terminal, there is more going on.
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Some nurses have "right-to-die" agendas and are true believers in the utilitarian view that when quality of life is poor, ending the life of the patient is the compassionate thing to do. A very few are serial-killer types that get a kick out of killing, plain and simple. These are in the Jack Kevorkian category, but hospice nurses don't get sent to jail. Hospice is a playground for such killer nurses.
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As part of their compensated end-of-life counseling for Medicare recipients, physicians and nurses could refer patients to expert outside groups. And guess which organization claims credit for playing a prominent part in creating Section 1233? From the Compassion & Choices website, on July 27, 2009: "Compassion & Choices and its supporters have worked tirelessly with supportive members of congress [sic] to include in proposed reform legislation a provision requiring Medicare to cover patient consultation with their doctors about end-of- life choice (section 1233 of House Bill 3200)."
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Given its involvement in AB 2747 and Section 1233, Compassion & Choices clearly wants to become the Planned Parenthood of assisted suicide, no doubt hoping one day to receive public funds and medical referrals for end-of-life counseling, and, where legal, to facilitate assisted suicide. (It has already done the latter in Oregon.)
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.... Even as they were pushing explicit assisted-suicide legalization in Washington and Montana, advocates opened a second front in their quest to legalize death-hastening acts by doctors. Two members of the California assembly with close ties to Compassion & Choices had twice unsuccessfully attempted to legalize assisted suicide in the Golden State. Thwarted in that effort, they introduced Assembly Bill 2747, a bill they said required doctors only to inform their terminally ill patients about their end-of-life options. In actuality, as first proposed, the legislation would have permitted euthanasia by the back door.
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While hospice was being embraced as a great solution for end-of-life care by right-to-life organizations as well as right-to-die organizations, the Euthanasia Society's successor organizations saw it as the vehicle to advance their cause. They knew that once America changed its view of dying and changed its expectations about how people died, they would be more than half of the way to widespread practice of euthanasia, however hidden that practice would be. Their infiltration of the end-of-life care industry has been accomplished just like the Greek hero Odysseus entered the city of Troy with the famous Trojan Horse. The citizens of Troy never knew the Greeks had secretly entered the city hidden in the horse until it was too late. And, most Americans do not know that the proponents of euthanasia have entered the end-of-life care arena and are shaping it to their own purposes.