Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Throwing Grandma Under the Train

At some point, the "debate" about health care ceased to be political, and instead grew into something diabolical:
Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the term ‘advance care planning consultation’ means a consultation between the individual and a practitioner described in paragraph (2) [ed: one's physician] regarding advance care planning, if, subject to paragraph (3), the individual involved has not had such a consultation within the last 5 years. Such consultation shall include the following:
(A) An explanation by the practitioner of advance care planning, including key questions and considerations, important steps, and suggested people to talk to.
(B) An explanation by the practitioner of advance directives, including living wills and durable 9 powers of attorney, and their uses.
(C) An explanation by the practitioner of the role and responsibilities of a health care proxy.
(E) An explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such services and supports that are available under this title.
Let's cut through the Congress-speak, and translate two key elements:
Section (A) means that discussions regarding important legal issues involving end-of-life decisions are to be held with a doctor, not a lawyer. Whatever one may think of the legal profession as a whole, certainly one's attorney is is a far better position to advise one on such potentially critical documents.
But it certainly paves the way for Section (E), which seems to clear the way for folks like Dr Kevorkian to practice their craft. Really, does our political class think so little of our intellect that they don't believe we'd see through this? Class warfare is, of course, nothing new, but pitting one generation of Americans against another is beyond the pale.
Or should be.
[Hat Tip: Red State]
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