End-of-Life Choice, Palliative Care and Counseling

Anti-Choice Extremists Mislead On End-Of-Life Conversation Provision in Health Care Reformby Sonja

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As the health care reform debate heats up in Washington and around the country, opponents of end-of-life choice have launched a misinformation campaign to undermine a key provision of health care reform.

Compassion & Choices has worked tirelessly with supportive members of congress 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).

Anti-choice extremists and their allies in Congress have begun attacking this critical provision, saying it will “promote euthanasia” and that it’s part of a cynical plan to deny health care to the elderly and terminally ill.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) sets the record straight today at Huffington Post:

GOP leadership has been gravely distorting the truth and misrepresenting the facts about this bipartisan effort, and in the process throwing members of their own party under the bus — those who have reached across the aisle to do something that will help Americans across the nation.

The bill simply provides people with better care as they grapple with the hardest health care issue of all — their final chapter of life. See the Myths vs. Facts sheet on this. CNN reporter Elizabeth Landau does a great job highlighting the benefits of “doctors and family members having more conversations about end-of-life issues,” which my bill addresses.

This bill has bipartisan support (the main cosponsor is a Republican doctor) as well as support from a diverse coalition like AARP, the American College of Physicians, and Catholic health systems. It is an area where — no matter from a red or blue state — many have been able to bridge the divide.

Over at Media Matters for America, they’ve debunked the misleading talk and laid out the facts in an easy to read format. Read the Media Matters piece here.