|The Truth About End of Life Care|
|Thursday, 30 July 2009 11:15|
I want to correct some grave mischaracterizations of the health care reform legislation, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act (H.R. 3200). Anti-health reform groups are misconstruing a provision of the legislation, which enjoys broad support in Congress, to provide coverage under Medicare for people to talk to their doctor about their wishes and care preferences at the end of life.
Such groups claim that advance care planning consultations include “euthanasia” and are “mandatory every five years.” These claims are blatantly false. Accusations that physicians would be required to “recommend a method for death” are as offensive as they are untrue.
Without these discussions, families often are not confronted with these difficult decisions until emergency situations arise, leaving spouses, sons, daughters and grandchildren unprepared because they do not know their loved ones’ preferences. As a result, families are left struggling to make decisions in the midst of turmoil. These are deeply personal decisions and they do not need to happen in crisis.
Doctors, nurses, and patient advocacy groups have supported our bipartisan effort to improve the quality of care for individuals facing their last chapter of life. I hope you will recognize the urgent need for improved communication around advance care planning, recognize the false claims against this provision, and support our efforts.
Section 1233 is endorsed by: AARP, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine,
American College of Physicians, American Hospice Foundation,
Center to Advance Palliative Care, Consumers Union, Gundersen Lutheran Health System, Hospice and Palliative Nursing Association, Medicare Rights Center,
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, National Palliative Care Research Center, Providence Health and Services, and Supportive Care Coalition