"For President Obama, healthcare is a deeply moral issue."
I gagged at those opening words on a video by Melody Barnes, White House Director of the Domestic Policy Council, attempting to reassure Americans euthanasia is not in the healthcare plan on the WH's new Reality Check website.
I don't need to remind pro-lifers about Obama's "morality" on the issues of abortion and infanticide.
But you may need reminding that Barnes previously served on the boards of both Planned Parenthood and EMILY's List. So she and Obama share the same "deeply moral" commitment to abortion.
But on to the topic of euthanasia. Barnes, in a spookily calm and reassuring voice, says not to worry....
Pro-lifers say the push for the elderly and infirmed to be kind and leave the planet ahead of schedule to free up bed space and save taxpayers $$ is definitely in the bill. But don't just take our word for it. Jivin J mentioned an on-point August 8 Washington Post piece. Here are excerpts:
Enter Section 1233 of the health-care bill drafted in the Democratic-led House, which would pay doctors to give Medicare patients end-of-life counseling every 5 years - or sooner if the patient gets a terminal diagnosis....
[A]t least as I read it, Section 1233 is not totally innocuous....
Supporters protest that they're just trying to facilitate choice - even if patients opt for expensive life-prolonging care. I think they protest too much: If it's all about obviating suffering, emotional or physical, what's it doing in a measure to "bend the curve" on health-care costs?...
Section 1233... lets doctors initiate the chat and gives them an incentive - money - to do so. Indeed, that's an incentive to insist.
Patients may refuse without penalty, but many will bow to white-coated authority. Once they're in the meeting, the bill does permit "formulation" of a plug-pulling order right then and there. So when Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) denies that Section 1233 would "place senior citizens in situations where they feel pressured to sign end-of-life directives that they would not otherwise sign," I don't think he's being realistic....
Ideally, the delicate decisions about how to manage life's end would be made in a setting that is neutral in both appearance and fact. Yes, it's good to have a doctor's perspective. But Section 1233 goes beyond facilitating doctor input to preferring it.
Indeed, the measure would have an interested party - the government - recruit doctors to sell the elderly on living wills, hospice care and their associated providers, professions and organizations. You don't have to be a right-wing wacko to question that approach.
Obama, moral!?? Not a chance.
Isn't morality above his paygrade?
The whole thing is so lame. They have refuted nothing in these videos. Wonder how much they paid some staffer/buddy turned video maker for this garbage. I'm sickened.Posted by: Monica Rafie at August 10, 2009 5:10 PM
If it's so good...why don't we try this "healthcare" on the WH staff, senators and congressmen first...
Since most politicians are in the AARP arena...let's give them the first crack at it?
What do you think?Posted by: RSD at August 10, 2009 5:13 PM
Obama and healthcare and morality.
Which of these does not belong?Posted by: Mr. H at August 10, 2009 5:24 PM
Mr.H is there a prize for the correct answer (a really really big prize!!)? ;)Posted by: angel at August 10, 2009 5:33 PM
Healthcare is a deeply moral issue but determining when a baby gets human rights is "above my pay grade" -- who on earth do they think they're kidding?Posted by: Luana at August 10, 2009 6:37 PM
It's so strange how pro-lifers have come out against living wills. I thought you people were in favor of living wills. If Terri Schiavo had made out a living will, her fate never would have wound up being determined by the courts.
What's wrong with living wills? What's wrong with Medicare encouraging people to have living wills, and paying for it? What's wrong with giving people the chance to write down whether they want to be kept on a respirator or a feeding tube? Or whether they want hospice care?Posted by: reality at August 10, 2009 6:49 PM
"As it turns out, the cause of advance planning has been championed especially strongly by a pro-life Republican -- U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia.
"Isakson is a member of Senate Health committee that played a key role in shaping the health care reform legislation. He successfully offered an amendment in committee that allows funds for a government-funded program that provides in-home services to people with disabilities to be used for advance care planning, according to the national Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
"Isakson has been promoting advance care planning for years. In 2007, for example, he co-sponsored two bills to encourage such planning -- the Medicare End-of-Life Care Planning Act and the Advance Planning and Compassionate Care Act.
"In 2005, Isakson joined with state lawmakers to publicly sign a personal "Directive for Final Health Care" to encourage Georgians to discuss their personal wishes for end-of-life care. He cited the controversial case of Terry Schiavo -- a Florida woman who lived for several years in a persistent vegetative state before her husband had her disconnected from a feeding tube -- to illustrate the importance of advance planning.
"I believe it is every person's right and responsibility to make sure their loved ones are prepared to make decisions on their behalf by discussing and documenting their wishes," Isakson said at the time. "It is my sincere hope that all Georgians will join me in following the lead of the Georgia General Assembly's Resolution and make their final wishes known."
"Isakson is a pro-life politician who opposes abortion as well as stem cell research entailing the destruction of human embryos."Posted by: reality at August 10, 2009 6:54 PM
Are you implying that Rep Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), and Rep Charles Boustany (R-La) are lying about their intentions in writing the Life Sustaining Treatment Preferences Act, as it was known when it was a stand-alone bi-partisan act, or are you suggesting that they just don't know what they're talking about when it comes to end of life care practice?
I can't quite make out which you mean.
What is the job description of the "Director of the Domestic Policy Council"? Cheerleader? Czarina?
Posted by: Janet
at August 10, 2009 7:33 PM
During the campaign we heard that Obama's radical associations like Ayers and Wright were irrelevant. I don't buy the argument, but let's say I accept it. Am I now supposed to believe that the views of one of his health care policy advisors, Dr Zeke Emanuel, are irrelevant?
Earlier this year he coauthored an article recommending the "complete lives system" for allocating limited medical resources. Because the health care takeover bills put us into a managed care system of resource allocation, and because Dr Emanuel is appointed to help design our new health care system, the issues of euthanasia and assisted suicide are relevant as long as he's part of the process. You can read Dr Emanuel's article at the end of this blog post:
"By establishing a social policy that keeps physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia illegal but recognizes exceptions, we would adopt the correct moral view"--Dr Ezekiel Emanuel
The above quote is from the article Whose Right to Die? by Dr Emanuel.
He writes that assisted suicide and euthanasia, if legalized, run the risk of becoming routine and being carried out for immoral reasons. He concludes that making them available in exceptional cases ensures the act is moral.
"Advocates for legalization might find a policy that permits exceptions to embody a double standard. But crafting a social policy in this way would also embody what we know: not all cases are the same, and among the millions of Americans who die each year there are morally relevant differences that cannot be captured in an inflexible rule. We must ensure that moral judgments are made in individual cases, and that those who make them will be accountable before the law."
Whose standard of morality passes muster? Let's hope it's not the complete lives system which favors younger, healther people.Posted by: Fed Up at August 10, 2009 8:15 PM
Lets not forget all the social security money that will be saved as they encourage the elderly to check out early.Posted by: muriel at August 10, 2009 8:50 PM
"He writes that assisted suicide and euthanasia, if legalized, run the risk of becoming routine and being carried out for immoral reasons. He concludes that making them available in exceptional cases ensures the act is moral."
Everyone should know that you can't take an immoral action and turn it into a moral one just by legalizing it. Natural law helps us determine what is moral.
"..... A. The natural law is morality which reason can determine from the nature of man, without the assistance of God's revelation. An example is the right to life. Almost all human societies throughout history, both religious and non-religious, have recognized that it is wrong to kill an innocent person. This is a conclusion which reason can easily come to, since all human beings have an inborn desire to live. From this natural law principle we can easily see that any action that directly and intentionally kills an innocent person is an unjust taking of a human life. Therefore, withdrawing food and and water from anyone who is not about to die and who can still tolerate it, has no other reasonable name than murder. "
(Excerpted from EWTN's website. Google "end of life decisions EWTN")
Reality Check and the pro-abort RH Reality Check are strangely similar in name. Coincidence?Posted by: Janet at August 10, 2009 10:25 PM
Janet, I thought the same thing!
Doesn't matter if you're lib or conservative, prolife or proabort, here's the reality check that trumps everything else: Congress has exempted itself from having to follow the rules created by the bill if it passes.
If your elected officials don't want it for themselves and their families, why in the world would you support it being imposed on you and yours?
The rest of us are not worthy of the best health care?Posted by: Janet at August 10, 2009 10:50 PM
Janet, if you go to michellemalkin.com, she's got a video and transcript posted of Rep Tsongas fielding the congressional opt-out question.
Tsongas argues that the bill gives greater choice. Funny how she omits mention of the grace period. And that the "choice" is among qualified plans, resulting in higher premiums for many people. She doesn't explain that qualified plans have to cover a minimum set of benefits set by the government. No, she dare not go there. Her constituents might start considering how that would affect them. Those who are drug free would realize they have to start paying for substance abuse coverage they'll never use. Those who aren't in need of maternity coverage will have to buy into it anyway. Gone will be the days of negotiating a plan that covers what you need and omits what you don't.
Yeah, baby, choice!Posted by: Fed Up at August 10, 2009 11:27 PM
The Democrats are absolutely evil. And of course, all in the name of "morality", political correctness, and the common good, of course as defined by them; Obama, Pelosi, Reid, etc. Face it folks, these are extremely evil people. There's simply no other way to categorize them. Evil, got it, evil to the core. People that can kill innocent children in the womb are evil....that's it.
Through their leadership God was banned from school in the early 70's when one Madeline Murray O'Hare protested that she was offended by prayer in schools. Ya know, they have never found the body of that Jezebel.
Then they legalized abortion killing off over 50,000,000 children that could now be funding Social Security and a greater percentage of them being black. The power to deceive is a fruit of evil and the Democrats have hoodwinked the black people for far too long. It's time to change that.
And they try to force homosexuality down our throats. What these people do with their bodies is so disgusting, so reprehensible that I have a hard time talking about it. Evil, yes very, very evil.
They have ruined the economy. Debt enslaves. The Democrats want to enslave us and they have enslaved us and our children. Did you hear about the $550 million Pelosi wanted to spend on new jets to charter Congress around the world? Why are we not incensed with anger? Will it take you to be out on the street begging before you'll wake up?
The immorality forced on us by a Democrat government has led to a drug problem that we may not recover from. Our children are dying in the streets.
Yes, God has given us up to follow the Democrat way and it's time to turn from these evildoers and their perverted leadership.
And now this demonically inspired health care plan, the purpose of which is to gain power over people, plain and simple.
People, you want health care, go pay for it. Hey, I want a new car, I need a new car. I'll make a deal with you. You buy me a new car and I'll pay for your health care premiums.
When will we Americans as a whole wake up? Haven't we had enough of this crap laid on us.
It's time to grow up and admit that there's no free lunch, the government could care less about us and Democrats are truly the party of evil. They are interested in one thing, POWER, POWER OVER YOU.
Want to change things? I'll tell you how to change tings. Cut government by 75%. Require Congress to truly balance the budget. Cut the salaries of these leaches and all their benefits and we'll get people in there who want to serve and not be served.
And if you're a government worker who will lose your job, then go get a real job actually producing something of value instead of sitting on your fat derrières complaining.
Breaking God's laws and principles have consequences. "If a man doesn't work he shouldn't eat", that's from God. We are merely reaping what was sown over the last 40 plus years and the disaster of Lyndon B. Johnson and the "Great Society". An idea based on arrogance that we are so prosperous, and so rich that we could afford anything and everything. It's a lie.
Well, as we are finding out. The harsh laws of economic reality do not spare even Americans as we sink into a third world country. The time is now to change Washington. If you don't believe me, look at the roads near your house. You see them getting rougher with more pot holes? Well, have they laid off the bureaucracy that required 10 people to fill one pot hole yet or are they waiting for "Stimulus" money? I know how to stimulate people, it's called an empty belly.
I can't wait for 2010. We will either succumb to Democrat lies or pull ourselves up by our boot straps and kick these evil people out of office and any Republicans that act like Democrats. Now it's really time for change.
It's time to put the foundations of morality back into our schools, overturn Roe v. Wade, pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one women, totally eliminate welfare, reward good teachers and fire the incompetent ones, reward productivity and entrepreneurship, and go back to work making things that people around the world will buy.
Work it's all about work and if you won't work then you should starve.Posted by: HisMan at August 11, 2009 1:48 AM
The current health care system will bankrupt the government. Why would you want to give all of your money to insurance companies? Don't you feel that you are "your brother's keeper?" We are all in this together, and a solution must be found to provide health care to those who need it while cutting costs. Who would not support this? Those elderly who would like counseling on life-decisions, why shouldn't this be provided on a voluntary basis? Once I'm in a coma and all hope is gone, I would like to be told I would have the option now of choosing to end extraordinary measures to keep my respiration artificially supported when I'm brain-dead (sometimes at great cost to my family). Who wouldn't want this option??Posted by: JMG at August 11, 2009 1:15 PM
Only God will decide when it is time to take me home.
OH, and I will not pay for abortions.
Carla, would you pay for someone's triple bypass to keep her alive, or someone's insulin to keep a diabetic alive?Posted by: JMG at August 11, 2009 1:28 PM
I don't have an answer for you JMG.
Are you going to pay for abortions and to end the life of disabled people? How is that GOOD for us?
What is wrong with our current system? Why does BIG GOVERNMENT think it can solve everything?
Just say no to Obamacare.Posted by: carla at August 11, 2009 1:35 PM
Carla, can we find common ground here?
Regarding abortions, I think we can both agree that we need to work for lowering unwanted pregnancies to having them occur as seldom as possible. Is that a fair statement?
I don't want to end the lives of disabled people. I don't know anyone who does.
Government provides lots of good stuff - roads, firefighters, policemen, parks. Federal government provides social security and medicare, among other services. But with the status quo, medical care will bankrupt the federal government. The way Obama would seek to prevent this is by limiting costs. The alternative is to raise taxes. Which way would you prefer?Posted by: JMG at August 11, 2009 2:17 PM
"I don't want to end the lives of disabled people"
...but you're ok with ending the lives of healthy, UNBORN people?
Tell me what's the common ground for that mentality?
Does anyone notice the word "choice" pop up more and more in the "end of life matters" discussions with the pro-aborts?
That's how abortion was slammed down our throats.
Let's be very careful here...Euthanasia is the new abortion.
Regarding your question ". . .but you're ok with ending the lives of healthy, UNBORN people?"
No, I'm not. It is a tragedy. It's horrible. That is why emphasis must be placed on pregnancy prevention, to prevent the conception of unwanted children.
But we probably need to agree to disagree: I don't agree that a human zygote (fertilized egg) should have the same rights as a baby. I could agree with this if nothing else was involved. But there are other factors that make this a complicated issue, such as the mother's life and rape. If you believe that a zygote has the same "worth" as a baby and should be given equal rights, then there is no reason to argue with each other - these are moral absolutes and neither one of us will change. You would have to argue that all discarded fertilized eggs in a in vitro fertilization clinical must be implanted into someone's uterus and brought to term - it's the zygote's right. Fighting about this won't solve anything, and neither of our minds will change. So we accept this difference and try to come together on other issues. What is the ultimate aim: it seems to me it is to provide the most good for the most people.
"When does life begin" is unanswerable, because there is no agreement on the meaning of "life." To me, a zygote is a cell with a diploid number of chromosomes, that is capable of forming into an individual. But the same is true of many types of stem cells in our body (the "omnipotent ones). I certainly believe that an advanced human fetus should have protected rights and the worth of a human being. The difference between us is at what point this should happen. I don't think we can agree on this, so we need to acknowledge our differences and move on to prevent as many unwanted pregnancies as possible.Posted by: JMG at August 11, 2009 5:24 PM
Castellina: You wrote "euthanasia is the new abortion."
There is no evidence that the health bills have any relationship to euthanasia. One option of end-of-life counseling is to agree beforehand, that once a physician considers you brain-dead with no hope of recovery, that extraordinary measures to keep you alive will cease. This is a choice that I, for one, would consider so that my relatives won't go bankrupt with expenses when there is no hope for recovery. But as a citizen, getting the counseling would be my choice, and the decisions reached would be my choice.
Euthanasia is actively ending life, usually by administration of a drug. This is abhorrent to me, and it is not a power I would give to anyone, but this has nothing to do with the health bill that congress is considering.Posted by: JMG at August 11, 2009 5:32 PM
Those elderly who would like counseling on life-decisions, why shouldn't this be provided on a voluntary basis?
It's already taking place on a voluntary basis. Health care providers already encourage advance directives. The government is dictating what should be discussed and when it should occur. There's an obvious conflict of interest when the government who pays for end-of-life care mandates consultation, specifies what is to be discussed, offers financial incentive to provide it, and monitors whether or not it's been done.
And it's not just the elderly that are subject to this provision. Many disabled and mentally ill people are on Medicare. How ethical is it to have an end of life care discussion with a mentally ill person who's struggling to find hope just because the government says it's time to have one?
Euthanasia ... has nothing to do with the health bill that congress is considering.
One of the president's health care advisors believes it should remain illegal but with exceptions. Therefore it is relevant, especially when you consider the vast number of details that aren't specified in the bills but are left to the discretion of appointees, boards, and bureaucracies to decide.Posted by: Fed Up at August 11, 2009 7:42 PM
JMG, "Let's find comon ground," Makes me sick! Barf! BARF! I don't like abortionist Pigs, and if Obama had any testosteron, He'd listen to Pro-life americans!Posted by: RJ Sandefur at August 11, 2009 7:55 PM
Very well said.Posted by: HisMan at August 11, 2009 9:15 PM
You said the question, "When does life begin" is unanswerable, because there is no agreement on the meaning of "life."
Okay. So, let's say I find you on the sidewalk, apparently unconscious. I am certified in CPR.Shall I do all I can to help you, or shall I say,
"Well, she doesn't appear to be alive, I'm not sure she's alive, so I'll just shove her body into the storm sewer." Wouldn't that be horrible?
If you're not sure when life begins, shouldn't you err on the side of caution -- and humanity?
That "zygote" is as human as you or I -- it has
everything it needs EXCEPT the protection of the humans who should protect it until it is ready to be born. Will you give humanity the dignity and honor it deserves, or will you parrot lame excuses while these innocents are suctioned, burned with saline, and dismembered. Yes rape is horrible, but murder is much
worse. And most of the babies being aborted today were not the product of rape. Even if they were, should they die for their fathers' crimes? We don't torture and kill children for what their fathers did, do we? And what about the Downs babies aborted because they are not "perfect"? I have three special-needs grandchildren. Don't talk to me about "diminished quality of life"! One of them is a writer and champion swimmer -- with only one arm and a shortened leg. One is an artist, "little princess", and dreamer. The third was never supposed to walk, but is well on the way to doing so, and has been reading since the age of four years. They are beautiful, and they're here because their biological mothers chose to carry them to term and give them up for adoption. No, abortion should not be "rare". IT SHOULD NOT HAPPEN! And I will not support a tax funded plan that includes coverage for it.
"When does life begin" is unanswerable, because there is no agreement on the meaning of "life."
Science tells us when life begins. Humans disagree as to when it has value or merits legal protection.
Rosemary, thanks for sharing about your grandkids. Made me smile :)
Hi HisMan, hope all's well with you.Posted by: Fed Up at August 11, 2009 9:59 PM
JNG: You say:"As a citizen, getting counseling would my choice, and the decisions reached would be my choice".
Don't hold your breath...Do you really think that a government representative would have the best interest of a seriously ill, vulnerable elderly person in mind?
Cutting costs would be the bottom line in such counselings and not your "choice". I'm sure "gentle persuation" would be used to steer the person away from costly treatments and into a "dignified death".
Maybe drugs to hasten it will not be used (not immediately anyway) but care will be rationed and surgeries denied.
You can make your wishes known and respected with the help of your doctor and your family--government should have NO input in end of life matters or counseling vulnerable human beings.
The health care bill has enough loopholes to slip just about anything in, including subsidizes abortion and euthanasia at government discretion.
JMG "You would have to argue that all discarded fertilized eggs in a in vitro fertilization clinical must be implanted into someone's uterus and brought to term - it's the zygote's right."
Ah, but this is exactly why the Catholic Church and certain other pro-life groups espouse exactly that moral ultimate. Because all life should be protected, from natural conception to natural death.Posted by: MaryRose at August 12, 2009 12:10 AM
If you would simply read the text of this Section for yourselves, you can quickly end your worries about this matter.
The text mandates nothing, rather it provides an additional benefit, at your option. It expands Medicare to cover a sort of counseling that is currently not covered - Advanced Care Counseling. "Advanced Care" or "end-of-life" services, simply means what sort of treatment an individual wishes to receive in their final days, e.g. whether they want to spend those days in a hospital or in hospice. The words "euthenasia" and "suicide" appear nowhere in this Bill. Nor is there anything about a "financial incentive" for a counselor to provide any particular advice.
Most importantly, the "counselor" is not some government agent, more than likely they are whatever doctor you are already seeing or someone that doctor refers you to. Please don't fall for the bizarre mythology the media has been feeding you. This issue is far too important.Posted by: John at August 12, 2009 8:33 AM
I edited your comment.
You can learn the truth for yourself in just 10 minutes by reading publicly open facts at the WHO website.
Consider this: More than 10 other countries in the developed world have
better quality of life and longer-lived elderly
cheaper per-capital cost of health care.
What do they have that we don't? Socialized health insurance. I bet they also provide end of life counseling routinely--the result: elderly live longer, healthier lives.
Statistics are available at the World Health Organization statistics website (WHOSIS).
You probably gagged for other reasons..Posted by: Jay at August 12, 2009 10:00 AM
Breaking God's laws and principles have consequences. "If a man doesn't work he shouldn't eat", that's from God.
Posted by: HisMan at August 11, 2009 1:48 AM
He's so sweet. No wonder you love Him so.Posted by: Hal at August 12, 2009 12:56 PM
Boy..the pro-aborts out again....Posted by: RSD at August 12, 2009 2:18 PM
The Patient Self Determination Act was signed into federal law by George Bush, #1, in 1990, mandating that health care professionals inform patients of their rights to express their end of life choices. Provisions for compensation for any counseling were not included. The House Bill for Health Care Reform merely allows physicians to be compensated for this service. Patients will still make the choices and the health care community will be bound by them. Sadly, those who really need the care reform could provide are being manipulated by fear produced from misinformation and deception. Of course while despicable, it works. The rich will get richer. The poor will go to costly emergency rooms, and the middle class will deteriorate into poverty. It's ashame conservatives who preach Christian values are trying to deny care to those Jesus would have protected. Then again Jesus preached about feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and healing the sick - What a socialist!Posted by: Viki Ryan, RN at August 12, 2009 11:16 PM
It's ashame conservatives who preach Christian values are trying to deny care to those Jesus would have protected. Then again Jesus preached about feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and healing the sick - What a socialist!
Posted by: Viki Ryan, RN at August 12, 2009 11:16 PM
Jesus did not expect the government to be the solution to the world's ills (though, interestingly, that is what the Jews were expecting at the time- a governmental transformation). Jesus actually HEALED the sick. He FED the hungry. He Himself was considered "homeless."
So, if you want to throw certain things in Christians' faces as "support" of your viewpoint, perhaps you'd also be willing to admit that He was the Son of God, died for the sins of humanity, and rose again on the third day?
It's all very convenient to pull out the traits of Christ you find admirable and leave the rest behind, isn't it?
Jesus also said we'd always have the poor with us (meaning poverty will always exist, much to the chagrin of socialists who claim to have the solution). Most Christians I know actually give to relief organizations and missionary organizations, feed the hungry, sponsor children around the world, work in homeless shelters here in the US, etc...and they do it ALL without the aid of socialist governmental intervention.Posted by: Kel at August 12, 2009 11:27 PM
" The rich will get richer."
Without "the rich", who would have a surplus to give to the poor?
"If a man doesn't work he shouldn't eat",
I agree, let's stop feeding the unemployed.
And let's get goverment out of the business of helping people. It's immoral to have have social security, medicare, welfare, social services, veterans benefits, public schools, etc. Can you imagine, there are people out there what would provide medical aid to someone who enterd this country illegally??!!
If you can;t afford to pay for medical care, you should be ashamed and have no one to blame but yourself. You clearly don't deserve help from my goverment. You poor and disabled need to get jobs and care for yourselves. We've got the unborn to worry about. Damnit, we're Christians, not socialists!Posted by: Fess at August 18, 2009 3:38 PM
Is that sarcasm?Posted by: Bobby Bambino at August 18, 2009 3:51 PM