End-of-Life Choice, Palliative Care and Counseling

Jack Rice: The Truth about ’Death Panels’by Blaine

Back

In light of conspiracy theorists claiming that heath care ’death panels’ are coming, Jack Rice invited Barbara Coombs Lee, President of Compassion and Choices, on the show to dispel those rumors and set the record straight about end of life. Follow the “READ MORE” link below to listen to the interview.

That this kind of charge, this hysteria and hyperbole, was ginned up so quickly and caught people’s imagination is quite remarkable. It speaks to the fact that it’s hard to talk about death and hard to acknowledge that we’re all mortal. Tapping into these deep fears and telling scary stories is the height of political cynicism. None of it is true.

This is a bipartisan issue. Up until recently everyone was on board – Republicans, Democrats – with the idea that families shouldn’t be drawn in to Terri Schiavo – like disputes. We should take precautions against them by making our views clearly known to the people who love us and to the doctors who will be caring for us when we’re terminally ill and can’t speak for ourselves. The POLST (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) legislation has very broad support among members of Congress and mainstream organizations like the AARP, unions and seniors’ groups. Then it was as though a need arose to discredit it and to stoke fear.

And it’s scary to think that someone else is making decisions for you. No one wants that. We want, everyone wants, people to make decisions for themselves. That’s what these consultations are about.

Click on the “Play” button (triangle) to hear Jack Rice speaking with Barbara Coombs Lee: