U.S. Senate Bill could ‘nudge’ the elderly to choose premature death

S. 1549 The Care Planning Act of 2015 Introduced in U.S. Senate

Two Articles:

1.  Care Planning Act Introduced in U.S. Senate by Wesley Smith


This bill would – no doubt in my mind – enable Compassion and Choices [C & C] to meet its ambition of becoming the Planned Parenthood of death by receiving government/insurance funding. From the bill:
C) The requirements established by the Secretary under subparagraph (A)(ii) shall include a requirement that interdisciplinary team members (except for the chosen chaplain, minister, or personal religious or spiritual advisor) have training and experience in delivering person-directed planning services and in team-based delivery of services for individuals with dementing illness and individuals with a serious or life threatening illness.

C & C primarily pushes assisted suicide, but also pretends to be about such counseling. It has worked with federal legislators before on worming itself into federal funding. If passed, I believe his bill would give the organization access to Medicare funds.

Last week, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) introduced S. 1549, the Care Planning Act of 2015, to use federal tax dollars to pay health care professionals to counsel older people in deciding whether to accept or reject life-preserving medical treatment, food and fluids.

On its face, S. 1549 purports to promote neutral, fully informed “advance care planning” that will assist patients to implement their own values in legally valid directives. Unfortunately, however, there is abundant evidence, documented in the March 2015 NRLC report “The Bias Against Life-Preserving Treatment in Advance Care Planning,” that a combination of cost pressures and the ideological commitment of a significant number of health care providers to hastening death for those deemed to have a “poor quality of life” would in practice lead to many federally funded advance care planning sessions being used to exercise subtle – or not-so-subtle – pressure to agree to reject life-preserving treatment.

Entities conducting such programs openly boast of how much money they have saved insurance companies by inducing patients to reject expensive life-saving medical treatment. Advocates believe it will save Medicare money as well.

The pervasive focus of the Institute of Medicine September 2014 report “Dying in America” is summed up in its statement, “Because most people who participate in effective advance care planning choose maximizing independence and quality of life over living longer, advance care planning can potentially save health care costs . . . .”  (What this statement effectively means is that the Institute of Medicine report authors expect that “most people” receiving advance care planning counseling will come to agree they would rather die than live with dependence or a poor quality of life, and therefore will agree to forego expensive treatment that could preserve their lives when they are “not worth living.”)

West Coast Pro-Life admits there are no specific citations of C&C in the bill.  But we found this:

Following is a preliminary list of organizations that have endorsed the Care Planning Act:

  • AARP
  • AARP – Virginia
  • Alliance for Aging Research
  • Alzheimer’s Foundation
  • AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine
  • American Association for Long Term Care Nursing
  • American Geriatrics Society
  • American Health Care Association
  • American Heart Association
  • Augusta Health
  • Cambia Health Solutions and the Cambia Foundation
  • Capital Caring
  • Caregiver Action Network
  • Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness, Altarum Institute
  • Coalition to Transform Advanced Care
  • Compassion and Choices

Read the full list and more at National Association for Home Care & Hospice.


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