Section 1233 of HR 3200 Bill Causes a Stir, Once Again

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 By

Use common sense regarding section 1233

While this product makes it easier to pull a plug, the HR 3200 bill does not.

While this product makes it easier to pull a plug, the HR 3200 bill does not.

Just when I thought people were getting the story straight about section 1233, the section of HR 3200 that addresses end-of-life consultation, another round of strange interpretations and accusations has started flying around. I came across an article on LifeNews.com, a pro-life web site, that summarizes the new concerns surfacing about section 1233.

I’m not a politician or a policymaker. I’m just an average citizen who could use some cash loans like most U.S. residents. Instead of reading through all of the jargon and arguing, I’m simply going to address the claims people are making about section 1233 using common sense straight out of my own head.

Does section 1233 give financial incentive for euthanasia?

Here is a summary from LifeNews explaining one of the provisions of section 1233 of HR 3200, the bill on health care reform.

The measure would pay physicians to give Medicare patients end-of-life counseling every five years or sooner if the patient has a terminal diagnosis.

Here’s a quote, per LifeNews,  from a recent column by Charles Lane of the Washington Post Columnist:

“As I read it, Section 1233 is not totally innocuous,” Lane writes, adding that it “addresses compassionate goals in disconcerting proximity to fiscal ones.”

“Though not mandatory, as some on the right have claimed, the consultations envisioned in Section 1233 aren’t quite ‘purely voluntary,’” as backers of the bill assert, Lane adds. “To me, ‘purely voluntary’ means ‘not unless the patient requests one.’ Section 1233, however, lets doctors initiate the chat and gives them an incentive — money — to do so.”

HR 3200 introduces nothing new

What this columnist, LifeNews and anti-reformers who are squawking about section 1233 of the HR 3200 bill fail to recognize is that end-of-life consultations are not new. Doctors have always been paid to conduct these consultations. Section 1233 simply says Medicare will pay for it now instead of private insurance or individuals.

So, the financial incentive to aid terminal patients in creating a will and getting informed about their options for care has always been there. Doctors have no more reason to do it now than they did before. Section 1233 just makes it easier for patients to afford consultations on what are indeed very important life decisions.

More crazy talk

The other claim that LifeNews outlines is that physicians not only have financial incentive to do the consultations but to “formulate a plug-pulling order.” LifeNews says:

Pro-life advocates say the section opens the door to physicians pushing euthanasia or withdrawal of lifesaving medical treatment, or even basic food and water.

So, there’s a financial incentive for killing patients off? How’s that possible? Live patients spend a whole lot more money than dead ones. I’d argue that physicians have not only ethical, compassion-based reasons for keeping their patients alive as long as possible, they have financial incentives to do that as well. The longer a person stays in the hospital, the more money the hospital earns.

Closing argument

I highly doubt that the source of the funding is going to sway doctors one way or the other on whether they should pull a patient’s plug. This is just another example of a scare tactic used by groups that don’t want the HR 3200 health care bill to pass for political reasons.

What these people are truly opposed to is plug-pulling in the first place, something the HR 3200 bill neither encourages nor discourages, it just facilitates education. If these people want plug-pulling outlawed, they need to address that issue, not try to take down a huge health care bill that affects the entire country in many positive ways and could provide health coverage for 46 million Americans who don’t have insurance.

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This post has 28 comments

  1. Rose C says:

    Americans must be very careful about giving money incentives to doctors to pull the plug to save medical costs under ObamaCare since it is financiallyunsustainable and rationing is inevitable. The population is older and growing older and if ObamaCare is like all the other countries and unable to provide the medical services than check out Clinton’s study on Human Capital – They were studying in the 90s of how to use human beings as human capital and rate them according to their age, health, and value to the government/society – So, don’t be so quick to state that this couldn’t happen – It could happen – It has to happen if the money and the number of doctors can’t keep up with the number of elderly patients who need medical attention and hospitalization. And, what about population control – Euthanasia, mandated abortions, and pushing the gay lifestyle on our children is all about population control – what else is it if not population control? Terri Schiavo was starved and dehydrated even though she could breathe on her own – she was in my opinion set up as an example – and Dr. Kervokian in my opinion was set out as a introduction to euthanasia – and during Katrina – they pulled the plug on patients without permission and euthanized them – so there you go…..it’s fact & truth – but people don’t want to realize that once you open one door then there’s no going back and closing it or correcting the suffering that will happen to the victims.

  2. Duane Copeland says:

    Nitpicker says this: Those of you who say this bill in no way suggests that a physician will be forced to terminate a person's life are correct. What you are missing is that the bill obligates the physician to conduct a counseling session every five years. If during that session the Physician informs the patient that he/she has an incurable disease and their life expectancy would be two years or less depending on the level of comfort care the patient receives, but without proper medical care, life expectancy would be less than three months. At that point the physician has done his/her job and may recommend that the patient proceed with whatever medical assistance is available to help the patient live in comfort for as long as possible. However at this point the patient may be denied the long term care needed to allow the patient more time with their family, this would in-effect be a death sentence without anyone having to call it that, patient does not qualify for long term care since they will not recover, this is the way a Socialist Society functions, ask a Russian. I do not qualify for long-term care insurance but I have enough savings to pay for my care for about two years which would ultimately leave my aged spouse broke except for a retirement income. After that, I would be on my own because Medicaid will no longer exist. Will the kind and generous bureaucrats in Washington take pity on me and approve my physicians request. Not likely on Socialism health care, so there is a better than average chance I would ask my physician to end my life, or if able, do it myself. Remember those fictitious forty- six million poor folks without health insurance, they will come first.I lived through the second World War and I vividly remember Joseph Stalin and the fact that he was responsible for the deaths of over twenty-five million of his own people. Do I believe that our government is any more compassionate, not on your life. This government will do whatever is necessary to retain it's power. Obama is a socialist and socialist are conditioned to stay focused on the party agenda.

  3. Padraig's Ghost says:

    Michael Popovich and others here, thank you for taking the time to post and reply, even though there will be no agreement here. This is my last post here on this subject. However, before I leave I would like to share a poem with your for your enjoyment,etc.I leave the following poem written by a man long gone but not forgotten. He stood for something in a world of ambiguity as well. This was a world where in which the moral register of colors there was no black or white, but only grey.

    THE WAYFARER

    The beauty of the world hath made me sad

    This beauty that will pass

    Sometimes my heart hath shaken with great joy

    To see a leaping squirrel in a tree

    On a ladybird upon a stalk

    Or little rabbits in a field at evening

    Lit by a slanting sun

    Or some green hill where shadows drifted by

    Some quiet hill where mountainy men hath sown

    And soon would reap near to the gate of Heaven

    Or children with bare feet upon the sands

    Of some ebbed sea, or playing on the streets

    Of little towns in Connacht

    Things young and happy

    And then my heart hath told me

    These will pass

    Will pass and change will die and be no more

    Things bright and green, things young and happy

    And I have gone upon my way, sorrowful.

    Padraig Pearse (1879-1916) an Irish Freedom Fighter

  4. Michael Popovich says:

    Padraig's Ghost,

    I hope this is my last comment. Were you as paranoid and did you take this much of an interest during the last administration? During the last administration fear of the government was not a conspiracy theory, but a reality. The most recent example is the assertion yesterday by Tom Ridge that the Bush Administration made him raise the terror alert during the 2004 election. It isn't something that we have to build a case around. It is not a conspiracy theory to unravel. The problem is that people are more willing to believe and pursue possible conspiracies against President Obama than proof of misdoing by others. It's sad but I think it proves most Americans are more scared of a man of color, than a dishonest man who regularly took advantage of the fear and ignorance of his citizens.

    Like I stated in my previous comment, it is obvious you are intelligent and a much better writer than I am. You may have more formal education than me, some of the theories you glean from the writings and public lives of 'all the president's men' may have some truth. The thing is there are enough actual problems left over from the last administration. We don't need to look for more problems where they might not exist. When you criticize Obama remember this, you can criticize Obama. During the last administration you would be removed from public rallies and placed in 'protest zones' for just wearing a shirt the previous administration did not agree with. Now protesters are comfortable enough to wear guns to Presidential events? Remember when reporters could only ask Bush pre-approved questions from Bush? Do you honestly think the current administration would let a hack like Jeff Gannon into the White house press corps? Do you remember when regardless if you were right or wrong, if you disagreed with the talking points of the administration you were at the least unpatriotic, at most you were giving comfort and aid to the enemy? The fact that so many people care about the government's motivation now, does not fill me with hope that people are interested in their government.

    The majority of us elected this president to fix the mistakes of the last 8 years and to bring back America's Ideals and prominence i the world. Now, the same people who could not be convinced that Iraq had no connection to 9/11 or Al Queda, that the 2000 election was fair and square and so on and so on, pursue baseless claims and the most far fetched conspiracy theories. I assume in he hope time will magically turn back to 1950 and someone else can do their thinking for them again.

    The world is changing. A half black, half white guy is president. Get over it. I'm a white guy in my 30's, I have more in common with the current president than any other president in my life. If he makes bad decisions lets judge him for that, not because our personal politics tell us to do so. I hope we get the government we need and not the one we deserve.

  5. Padraig's Ghost says:

    Response:

    Of National Health Care Paranoia, Communitarianism and the All the President’s Men:

    With regard to the conspiracy paranoia surrounding President Obama’s Healthcare; The problem with any large conspiracy theory is the difficulty for any single person or group of persons to control the outcome of events due to randomness and catastrophism. However, whit the Hegelian Dialectic of Synthesis, Thesis and Anti-thesis all three conditions of a phenomena be created, reaction induced and the outcome controlled. (This is as over simplified explanation is as good an understanding as any other in the Hegelian Dialectic. Last I.V. Lenin said of the Secret of Hegelism, “The Secret is Well Kept”!) The Hegelian Dialectic is the foundation of Communitarianism. Communitarianism defined: Communitarians is a social philosophy that maintains that society should articulate contrasted with classical liberalism, a philosophical position that holds each individual should formulate the good on his or her own. Communitarians examine the ways shared conceptions of the good (values) are formed, transmitted, justified, and enforced. Hence their interest in communities (and moral dialogues within them), historically transmitted values and mores, and the societal units that transmit and enforce values such the family, schools, and voluntary associations (social clubs, churches, and so forth), which are all parts of communities according to its founder, Etzioni Amitai (taken right from Amitai’s writings). It is sometimes called the third way. In America it has more to do with Fascism than Marxism due to laissez-faire nature of the American Free Enterprise System. It is sometimes called the Third way and employs elements from Fascism, Socialism, and Capitalism. The bottom line is it is Totalitarianism in absolute terms. Read Professor Cass Sunstein’s 2006 book “Nudge”. This is Total Control of the individual and at best Friendly Fascism any way you slice it.

    Who’s Who in the Obama Healthcare:

    President Barack H. Obama, Gifted Chicago Politician, First African American U.S. President. High Effective Community Organize.

    Amitai Etzioni PhD., noted advisor to U.S. Presidents, founder of Communtarianism or Paternal Libertarianism, noted Sociology Professor at George Washington University, disciple of German-Jewish Israeli Zionist Existentialist Martin Buber (Buber was an admirer of Romantic German 19th Volk Movement. Some have accused Communitarians as a stalking horse for the Socialist Fabian Society)

    Rham Emanuel: Chicago Politician, former U.S. Congressman, Mailer of Dead Fish to Political Enemies. Intrepid Chief of Staff to Barack the First. And son of Israeli “Freedom Fighter”.

    Dr. Ezekiel “Zeke” Emanuel M.D. PhD., noted Oncologist, Bioethicist (alleged code word for “Green Eugenics”?), Healthcare Architect, NIH Bioethics Chief, and Hastings Institute Bioethics Fellow, Rham’s brother, and self-proclaimed Atheist and Communitarian.

    Peter Orszag PhD., White House Office of Budget Director, Former Congressional Budget Office Director, Fellow, from the London School of Economics where Dr. Orszag, obtained his masters, and doctorate degree. Dr. Orszag is the economic genius behind the Obama Health Care Program, Advisor to the Central Bank of Iceland before collapse, Advisor to Russian Ministry of Finance, etc.. (The London School of Economics was founded by Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Beatrice Webb, Graham Webb, and George Bernard Shaw. Sidney and Beatrice were in turn the core actors in the founding of the Socialist Fabian Society.)

    Cass Sunstein, noted “Legal and Highly Respected Scholar”, and White House Director Information and Regulatory Affairs, Expert on Constitutional, Administrative, Environmental, and behavioral Economics, possible candidate for the next SCOTUS Justice, Advocate for a Second Bill or Rights as did FDR, Animal Rights Activist and Proponent for the Total Hunting Ban in the U.S., Proponent of “Reformulating the First Amendment, author of 2006 book “Nudge”, alleged Communitarian, and Friend of President Obama from U. Chicago and Professor Peter Singer. (Peter Singer is a noted Population Control Proponent, Decamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, Singer is author of Animal Liberation, outspoken proponent o f Abortion, Euthanasia, Infanticide, and “alleged” zoophilia. )

    Robert Holdren PhD., noted Professor of Environmental Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Expert on Population Control, alleged proponent of Euthanasia, forced abortion and mass sterilization. Dr. Holdren has disputed these claims. Such claims rise from allegations based on his coauthor of publications with noted population control advocates Paul R. Ehrlich, Anne H. Ehrlich, Some parties on the internet have alleged that Dr. Holdren is President Obama’s “Chief Eugenics Advisor”.

    (Source for most information was Wikipedia. As to the reliability of the information I would say Wiki rates Very Good to unproven. Check out each name yourself and decide.)

  6. Michael Popovich says:

    Sunny,

    the story you are telling supports the the argument for health care reform. The Living Will that you said your daughter made clear to you, is what the goal of the end of life counseling is. It has the doctor initiate it so that a patients wishes are known and followed. If they want as much treatment as possible or if they do not want care after a certain point. The reason seniors would be targeted is they are arguably closer to death and should make their wishes clear. The other point is that Medicare would cover the cost of the consultation. I think that anyone over 18 should go over this with their health care provider. This makes it clear what the patient's wishes are and that they are followed. The reason Obama is down on the Bush prescription bill is that it was not funded and was not that effective. There are some arguments that it only made costs lower for about 20% of seniors, added more difficulty and in some cases Seniors even pay more for drugs.

    Padraig’s Ghost,

    the reason your posts may have been deleted from other sites is probably not censorship but concern over your comparisons and rhetoric, History is rife with examples of intelligent people that did great damage to society. The fact that you think the Racist, Fascist form of Socialism of the NAZIs and people who want health care reform, shows that you are as guilty of putting rhetoric above the issue.

    Elizabeth Fairchild,

    Thanks again. Also thank your editorial staff. I'm amazed that they let you write a piece on a Finance Blog that wasn't corporate propaganda. Again, bravo. Too much 'No!', not enough talk.

  7. Padraig's Ghost says:

    In (Lukewarm) Defense of Dr. Zeke and Company…

    Dr. Zeke Emanuel may along with some other obscure academics now advising President Obama my be just that! Below is a refence the controversial article in the 31 January 2009 Lancet British Medical Journal:

    The Lancet, Volume 373, Issue 9661, Pages 423 – 431, 31 January 2009

    doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60137-9 Cite or Link Using DOI

    Principles for allocation of scarce medical interventions

    Govind Persad BS a, Alan Wertheimer PhD a, Ezekiel J Emanuel MD

    Dr. Zeke go on in April to respond to a comment critical or the article in summary:

    doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60818-7 Cite or Link Using DOI

    Ethical criteria for allocating health-care resources — Authors' reply

    Govind Persad a, Alan Wertheimer a, Ezekiel J Emanuel a

    We agree with Tim Baker and Peter Baker that allocating scarce, lifesaving medical resources by ability to pay is presumptively “inequitable and even immoral”. First, our discussion focused on the allocation of resources such as organs and influenza vaccines in a pandemic that would be scarce even in a developed economy with adequate resources for health care. Second, our aim was to explore morally justified systems, not describe existing systems. We agree that allocation by ability to pay is “a …

    Department of Ethics

    The Lancet, Volume 368, Issue 9534, Pages 522 – 525, 5 August 2006

    Acedmics are sometimes misunderstood (and get confused themselves with right and wrong in ethics). Dr. Zeke and Company may be just such a man! I still don't want him for my doctor! I still am against him and the rest of the people involved in HR3200. Who knows where obscure acedemics leave off and draconian and dreadful national policies of the unelected begin?

    Also please note: that the first co-author gentleperson who helped Dr. Zeke with the above article, Govind Persad is a Finalist for a "Paul and Daisy Soros" Fellowships for New Americans (awardee selection pending) at Stanford Law School and expects to receive their degree in 2011. (Best wishes in Law School to them as I always wanted to go on to Law School after my MBA…)

  8. thales says:

    Section 1233 of HR 3200 mandates "standardizing" doctors' orders for life sustaining treatment and training physicians in the "standards". The actual standards are not specified in the bill, however. They will be provided by the bureaucrats.

    What this means in plain English is that, no, they're not going to euthanize anybody, they're just going to check their budget before they require the doctor to pull the plug on life sustaining treatment. Since the budget is never large enough, you can expect to see the plug get pulled earlier and earlier and in progressively less serious diseases in order to provide de facto rationing of health care.

    So the choice of when to pull the plug on your mother won't be up to you or your doctor; the choice will rest with some faceless bureaucrat hiding behind a pile of statutes in a government office building a thousand miles away.

    Take comfort in the HOPE and the CHANGE!

  9. Padraig's Ghost says:

    I posted reponses to on several other sites concerning the President Obama's staff, Health Care Reform and the Communitarian-Fabian Society connection over the past several days. The comments were in turn were posted for all to see on the internet. I checked back on each of them to see if any other parties commmented on them. My posts are now gone! I am wondering is someone has already initiated a form of censorship on the internet? I fear we may already be living in Orwell's 1984!

  10. Padraig’s Ghos says:

    If you voted Democrat, You voted for Green Eugenics! Now it seems in addition to Green Eugenics, you voted for a Death Cult full of “First Class Psychopaths”. Continuing in the tragically ironic tradition of racist, eugenic proponent and Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger we have euthanasia being incorporated into the Totalitarian National Healthcare grab (her monstrous goal was to do away with black people…). In addition to killing the unborn we have the influence of such people of National Science Advisor Robert Holdren ensuring the pulling the plug and killing of the grandma, and other undesirables. Then we have the genteel Ezekiel Emanuel M.D. PhD. Dr. Emanuel is a noted Bioethicist and Oncologist. He is also a well known proponent of Euthanasia and Green Eugenics. Dr. Emanuel is head of President Obama’s National Heath Care Advisory Board. His brother, the Intrepid Rham Emanuel is President Obama’s Chief of Staff. His other brother Ari Emanuel is Michael “Sicko” Moore’s Hollywood Agent. President Obama’s friend and fellow Harvard/U. Chicago Professor Cass Sunstein is White House Director of Regulatory Affairs. He is also a Social Justice Medicine and Euthanasia/Eugenics Proponent. What is next?

    The first victims of the National Socialists of Germany were not Jews, Gypsies, etc. (or Romini as they prefer to be called) but handicapped, socially and mentally “unfit” beginning in 1936. The great C. Everet Koop wrote a book titled “What Ever Happened to the Human Race”. Indeed what ever happened to the Human Race? Other “Monsters in Human Form” include De Camp Professor of Bioethics, Peter Singer at Princeton University. He would allow and encourage Infacide, Parricide, and Suicide of the undesired people. Human Monster and Professor is the son of Jewish parents who escaped Austria in the late 1930’s when the NAZI’s took over. I am sure his parents are very proud of that their son turned out to be a Human Monster just like the Communists and NAZI’s. The banality of true evil rears it’s ugly head again. I recommend that everyone read Professor (and Rabbi) Richard Rubenstein’s 1983 sleeper classic, “The Age of Triage, Fear and Hope in an Overcrowded World”. Since 1973 over 35 million babies have been aborted. Over 14 million of the babies aborted since 1973 have been black babies. Yet black or African American’s only comprised 13.4% or 40.9 million people. Planned Parenthood concentrates their clinics in Black and other minority communities. Under President Obama the disproportionate ratio black or African American abortions and other killings will most certainly increase. Perhaps our new president and his fellow Eugenics Proponents may yet be the greatest disciples of the Human Monster Margaret Sanger yet!

    P.S. The followers of Socialism (including the National Socialist of Germany) killed over 100 million people in the last century. How many will they kill in this one? I feel the largest holocaust in human history has yet to be!

  11. Sunny says:

    Three things: 1) my daughter & her in-laws live in England. Their experiences with health care services have been good for simple problems, yet horrendous for serious health issues; i.e. hysterectomy, cancer, hip fracture, cataracts. The wait for non emergency problems was over a year. Cancer testing was delayed for months on her m-in-law! Infections contracted in hospital is rampant and m-in-law nearly died, was on life support for 3 months. The patients are indeed 'evaluated' as to their use to society (how many more yrs they will be working to pay-back in taxes) and if too old are, in fact, put on the shelf for many needed issues – knee and hip replacement is considered 'elective' surgery. While there in June, I saw many elderly in walkers and wheelchairs, they couldn't afford to get the needed surgeries. I also saw on the front page of the newspaper (Morecombe, Jun 20th or so, '09) a long article on young women who were denied cancer testing 'because they were considered too young' (age 23) to have cancer. Some died while waiting for months to get the tests for the cervical cancer that killed them while waiting, or it was too late to save them after tests were done. A high percentage of cervical/uterian/ovarian cancer patients can be saved if early detection is done.

    2) end of life counseling: a Living Will covers these issues. I picked up a Calif Advanced Health Care Directive Kit from my insurance/hospital office, filled it in, handed it in. No cost to me except the Notory Public services. I did this because my young daughter died of ovarian/uterian cancer this last year. I took care of her at home with the help of hospice services and her wishes had been clearly written out by her. There were family issues over her care that were solved by her Living Will. We all wanted to just scream at the injustice of her illness, suffering and early death, but at least these issue had been already settled. When the dr writes "failure to thrive" on the discharge papers the patient does not have much longer to live. The best, and most humaine, thing to do is to keep them as comfortable as possible, surround them with love, and let them go. I do not want the government directing my end of life wishes, or see why we should pay a dr or government official to fill out 'end of life' counceling papers.

    3) When the bottom line expences determine the quality of care, tests to be done, drugs to be given, the patient will always suffer. I don't feel the government as exhibited real successful management of other businesses, i.e. post office, vetern's hospital/medical services, medicare. Obama said the Bush drug program is 'breaking' medicare. Why is that? We paid our taxes, governement was responsibile for paying the bills. Where did the money go? Seniors need that drug program.

  12. Cancer Patient says:

    What will become of cancer patients who are not cost-affordable to this nationalized health care plan? Will they automatically receive death counseling to assist in lowering the costs to otherwise healthy citizens?

    Will physicians be participating in promoting the death counseling as a mandatory connection to receiving healthcare? What happens if they decide it best to end my life after receiving the required counseling? What happens next? Is it a slow death or a fast death? Will it be by injection or by some other means of death? Will there be pain?

    What about my family after me with life insurance coverage? Will they be covered if I have chosen or the government has chosen to end my life? Most life insurance companies will not cover a family if the one covered has committed an act of self or assisted suicide.

  13. Louisville says:

    Stop your complaining….that's all we do…is complain for what we want then complain because it took to long or complain becuase it's not perfect…COMPLAIN COMPLAIN COMPLAIN..sorry I will stop now..LOL

  14. Louisville says:

    Medicare is the government….HELLO PEOPLE…..

  15. Louisville says:

    I feel that this will be a good thing. We already have medicare and medicaid and look at all those rules and guidelines that have to be followed. People are only interputing things on their level of understanding..be patient with them and teach them that change is not always bad. God Bless

  16. Ronald Newton says:

    The full text of HR 3200 is at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:H.R…..

    The most important thing I get from it is that it describes the possible consultation – it is optional and I presume can be refused — as can most medical care.

    So, Palin and the like are playing the scare game – try to sink something with lies or exaggeration instead od good, principled arguments.

  17. Matt says:

    Your quote "I’d argue that physicians have not only ethical, compassion-based reasons for keeping their patients alive as long as possible, they have financial incentives to do that as well. The longer a person stays in the hospital, the more money the hospital earns." This is the exact reason for end of life counseling. It has nothing to do with the ethics of doctors. It has to do with the personal wishes of each individual, not their doctors, or their families, theirs and theirs alone. Why not establish a plan of action according to their wishes before they cannot make the choices for themselves. When it's left to the families they make a lot of decisions that are guilt based because "THEY" have a hard time letting go which equals pain and suffering for the patient and until they just can't possibly keep them alive a steady source of revenue for the medical industry. I have an end of life plan and it may change as that time comes nearer, hence the routine consultations, because I'll be d***ed if I am going to let my children string me along after my time has come just so they can sleep at night knowing they weren't the one who "KILLED" dad. It causes unnecessary grief, and it causes unnecessary monetary waste.

  18. A. Reginald Watts says:

    Mr. Peter Stone sounds to me to be the chief peanut in the gallery.

    Certainly physicians have for many years counselled patients on end of life decisions. I have, personally, been involved in many of those sessions with some of my patients. What Peter fails to mention is that, in those instances, we received no financial incentive. And we made no recommendations!And he is wrong about the illegality of euthanasia. It is practiced quite legally in all states. It comes under the Papal injunction, "Thou shalt not kill, but need not strive overhard to keep alive." (paraphrased – if you know what that means, Peter.)It is an entirely passive, not an active action. Once you insert a financial incentive for this counselling it begins to border on murder. (Again if Peter understands that word as well.)

    • Peter Stone says:

      Not only do I know what paraphrasing is, I also know that part of proper grammar is to capitalize the first letter in a sentence begun in parentheses. (Apparently, you did not know this – you're welcome!)

      As to the legality of euthanasia – you are partially right. (You are also partially wrong.) Doctors are known to administer a dose of morphine for pain management that can cause death in terminally ill patients, though not all of them, and not all the time.

      What I was driving at was that only 2 states – and a pending 3rd – currently allow for patients to elect for what amounts to physician assisted suicide. (Currently, an appeal is pending to the Supreme Court of Montana, over a court case ruling in which a judge ruled that physician assisted suicide is legal.) What I meant, once again, is that since Physician Assisted Suicide, or where a patient is given the drugs or means in order to end their lives, is only legal in 2 states as of today – those being Washington and Oregon. Since it is illegal in all other states (with Montana pending), thus a doctor cannot legally bring it up to a patient as an option, but CAN ask about either a living will or DNR, so that life saving measures and/or life support equipment would be illegal to install, as they would be against the patients' wishes.

      Insofar as a financial incentive is the road to murder…it could be. However, that would be a conjecture – though it is an easy leap of the imagination. Again, since this apparently didn't sink in, it would be illegal for a doctor to suggest this course of action explicitly for the purposes of putting the patient out of their misery, despite the fact that it can be legal because it's technically being used for pain management. Yes, yes, I know it happens, and I never mentioned it because it's a part of modern medical practice.

      In summation, I was aware of what you were talking about. That said, that's a clandestine, but routine, part of medical practice, whereas full blown, out in the open, physician assisted suicide (what the less intelligent, i.e. Sarah Palin et al., are concerned about) is only legal in, like I said, 2 states (Montana Pending) and therefore isn't covered in any way shape or form by HR 3200. Thanks for playing, and for your information, if you are going to insult a person's intelligence it really helps to have spelled everything correctly and to have used proper grammar. It makes you come off as a bit of a hypocrite – sort of like Dan Quayle calling Joe Biden an idiot. (However, it is not that I would compare you or myself to either of those guys, though both are known for not being the sharpest knives in the drawer, so to speak. Quayle obviously being the worst of the two, especially regarding the "potatoe" incident.) Cheers!

  19. Elizabeth Fairchild says:

    Padraig's Ghost: The government already has access to your medical records. You can thank George W. and the Patriot Act.

    • Jay Reynolds says:

      Can you tell us exactly where the government already has our medical records?

      (It''s like where did Obama get the email addresses he's using to promote this bill) Even Gibbs sputters a vague response to that one!

      If, as you state, doctors are already advising patients on life issues, then why is this section 1233 needed at all? In the final draft… omit it!

      I think we all are very uneasy with the people Obama has surrounded himself with, (as mentioned in Padraig's Ghost response)that there is extreme distrust the level of intrepretation can & will be made because this bill has been so poorly written.

      Even your defination of what this bill states is based on your opinions; you will not be the individual who ultimately defines its meanings.

  20. Padraig's Ghost says:

    I have been reading HR3200 Section by Section! I find the "MOST NOT ALL" of the claims by the opponents of the bill have exaggerated or outright lied about the facts in the Bill. Some of the bill is also written with very slippery vague language, so who knows what they really want to do. However, it is still a very bad bill and I don't want the Government to have access to my medical records. I also do not want to create another giant agency agencies to oversee my life. TELL GOVERNMENT TO GET THE HELL OUT OF MY LIVE!

    What I am scared of are people like the Emanuel Brothers. The Intrepid Rham Emanuel is Obama's Chief of Staff and Chief Arm Twister. (Al Capone would highly value such a man from Chicago in his day!). Rham's other brother is Ari Emanuel. Ari just happens to be Michael "Sicko" Moore's Hollywood Agent. Rham's other brother is Ezekiel Emanuel M.D. PhD. Dr. Emanuel is a leading an Oncologist and Bioethicist (CAN YOU SAY EUGENICS!) and proponent of Euthanasia. Dr. Emanuel is also on President Obama's Medical Advisory Board. Last we have Dr. John Holdren, the President's National Science Advisor. Dr. Holdren is a leading expert on global population control (CAN YOU SAY EUGENICS, AGAIN!) and well known Euthanasia proponent. Folks, if I were writing a novel I still could not make this stuff up!

  21. Michael Popovich says:

    Hello,

    my wife showed me an unintelligible sentence in my rant. The sentence "For people who claim they support people’s right to choose then try It surprises me that some people want to continue living despite being a veritable shell." should have just been "It surprises me that some people want to continue living, despite being a veritable shell of a person."

  22. Michael Popovich says:

    Elizabeth Fairchild,

    Bravo. Thank you for shining the light of truth on some of these factitious arguments against health care reform. I was in a life or death situation last year and am very familiar with this issue. Section 1233 is actually pro-patient. Any responsible health care provider should discuss this with a patient facing life threatening health decisions. The only difference is that it would be covered by medicaid. It would also give the patient more control over their health care decisions. It prevents family/guardian/advocates, from making decisions that may be against the patient's wishes. I'm a 34 yr old male who got a rare illness named GBS likely brought about by virile Spinal Meningitis. I was in the hospital system for over 3 months and I was unable to make decisions on my own for most of this time. Luckily I had a wife and family that took great care of me and tried to make the best decisions possible. They had to make difficult decisions daily, Brain or Kidney function? Where to do rehab? Home care or assisted living? and so on and so on. This experience prompted me, my family and many of my friends and acquaintances to make a living will. I know it is tough for people who tried to keep Teri Shaivo alive to appease their base that someone would not want to live as a vegetable. For people who claim they support people's right to choose then try It surprises me that some people want to continue living despite being a veritable shell. I wish people would understand that just as they have a right to believe in their ideology I have a right not to believe it. I hope as this debate continues, the false statements and politics of fear promoted by those opposed to reform are brought to the American peoples attention. I'm very open to dissenting views but I hope people who just want to scream 'no' start staying at home. This is an issue I could write about indefinitely. I'm glad there is a financially oriented organization that is not covering the health reform issue with scripts and talking points provided by the GOP or corporate interests. I guess the main point of this post is to say thanks.

    A Grateful Citizen

  23. Peter Stone says:

    OK, before we start getting comments from the peanut gallery – regardless of what you hear, there cannot be a euthanasia option in the end of life consultation in this bill. There cannot, and why? Because it would be illegal. And why would it be illegal?

    Because euthanasia is legal, voluntary euthanasia that is, only in two states – Washington, and Oregon. (Ironically, though – most opposition to euthanasia is voiced from people that do not oppose the death penalty – which is done by lethal injection, a method of….euthanasia!)

    To recap – euthanasia is only legal in two states. Since it is legal in only two states, it cannot be prescribed or mentioned or suggested anywhere else. At all. Because it's illegal. Therefore, do not attribute it to Sec. 1233, because it isn't in there.

    Sec. 1233 means advice about signing either a Living Will and/or a DNR. A living will is a document that states a person doesn't want to be kept alive on life support if there's no chance of recovery. A DNR or Do Not Resuscitate means they don't want to be resuscitated if they have a heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary arrest. That's all a physician can talk to patients about in an end of life consultation.

    So, peanut gallery: Stop before you start. In effect, I'm asking the peanut gallery to euthanize their craziness, as it were.

    • T'SAH from Virg says:

      THANK YOU – THANK YOU – THANK YOU – DAG, and to think we have intelligent people in this world!!! This CRAP began wiht SARAH PALIN – Jeez, she has NO BRAINS!!!

  24. Jacki says:

    If the President,Congress,Senate, House etc. all must have the same health plan as they want all of America to have then this plan must be good. However, if just one of the high office people that we as voters put into office don't want this health plan then there must be something wrong with it. What is good for the goose should be good for all ganders.

    • THE TRUTH says:

      The fact is the President, Congress, Senate, and their family members are exempt from the Health Care bill, they want us to accept! I say NO WAY!!!

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