End-of-Life Choice, Death with Dignity, Palliative Care and Counseling

Faith Leaders Condemn Health Care Distortionsby Blaine


Facts Dispel Myths Surrounding End of Life Consultation

Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director, NETWORK National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, Aug. 4, 2009: “NETWORK…supports provisions in H.R. 3200 that allow Medicare to pay doctors for patient visits when the patient has requested a visit to talk about advanced directives for care. This policy promotes clear communication in families and helps to ensure that everyone is aware of a patient’s wishes. The anti-healthcare reform advocates have latched onto this provision in order to spread lies and fear among vulnerable populations….Lies and distortions have no place in the dialogue about the change….NETWORK supports the truth of families talking together about a loved one’s end of life wishes. This is a family value that should be supported, not demonized.”

Rev. John H. Thomas, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ, August 4, 2009: “Giving patients the opportunity on a regular basis to discuss with their physicians the values and choices they want to inform health care decisions is an important component of good medical care. This is good for doctors who want to provide the best care for their patients, for families when they must make difficult decisions about loved ones, and for patients who want their religious values and moral perspectives respected.”

Joe Volk, Executive Secretary of Friends Committee on national Legislation, a Quaker organization, August 4, 2009: “While many patients have filed ‘living wills’ to set out their wishes as they approach the end of life, it is not always possible for patients to anticipate changes in their health status or in medical treatments for their conditions. Authorizing consultations for patients with their physicians about the range of options available to them at all stages of care is a sensible and respectful measure – one that preserves the dignity and individuality of the whole person….[S]ome detractors are mischaracterizing this simple and sensible provision. It certainly does not coerce or limit individual patient’s choice in any way. It does…put the patient at the center of her or his care, through all the stages of life.”