Friday, August 28, 2009
Veterans Administration and the Death Booklet
The United States Veteran Administration introduced a booklet entitled 'Your Life, Your Choices' in 1997 to be filled out by all veterans who sought medical treatment at their facilities. The Bush Administration called for an end to distribution and further use of the booklet, also referred to as the 'Death Booklet' by those who oppose it, citing moral and ethical concerns. In it, the reader will find topics generally covered by any living will or health care proxy -- and a whole lot more. Reading it could possibly lead to depression even for the healthiest of individuals. Since its re-release under the Obama Administration, few seem to have taken notice. Until now.
Before I share with you some of the questions it asks the patient to consider, I would like to point a couple of interesting facts surrounding the booklet. First, the author is Dr. Robert Pearlman. Dr. Pearlman is not-so-coincidentally pro health care rationing. Second, in the new version of the booklet the only organization listed as a resource on advance directives is Compassion and Choices, the suicide advocacy group formerly known as the Hemlock Society.
The booklet asks vets if their life is worth living in a variety of situations, ie: no longer walking and restricted to wheelchair, no longer get outside and stuck in the home, rely on a feeding tube, unable to recognize family members, etc. A copy of the booklet in its entirety can be found HERE.
I'll state the obvious -- the Veteran's Administration health care IS government health care. If this is considered to be good enough for our veterans, surely the folks pushing the current bill will find it good enough for you and I as well. Act, brothers and sisters. Make your voices heard!
See the National Right to Life's Will To Live and Catholic Guide to End of Life Decisions.