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  • Wednesday 21 March 2018


Links to sections of Garn's paper:

In the UK, NHS Trusts must ensure:

An explanation of DNRs, Do Not Resuscitate orders, and the guidelines followed by medical staff.
And the major media outlets give physicians like Ira Byock, MD and Joanne Lynn, MD the royal treatment in terms of coverage. Their words are "the voice" of hospice in America today. In the "" television special on death and dying hosted by the late Tim Russert of NBC, Byock and Lynn are both included (representing hospice and palliative care) among the 14 presenters. Karen Stanley, RN, MSN, AOCN (from yes, Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, California) speaks as does Arthur Caplan, PhD (one of the leading secular bioethicists in America). Willard Gaylin, MD, the self-proclaimed communist, euthanasia advocate, and co-founder of the Hastings Center is also included. What does that tell you? And, the program is funded by, no surprise here: The Robert Woods Johnson Foundation that funded the Last Acts initiatives (naming Hospice of the Florida Suncoast a Rallying Points regional hospice center), that has funded many of the educational programs to change how Americans die and think about dying, promoting the quality of life ethic, not the sanctity of life ethic.

Most religions would say something like this:

"Byock recounted the examples of a couple of his patients who had expressed a desire to end their lives, but who then changed their views when provided with more comprehensive palliative care."


One hundred whip-smart wisecracks

"Ira Byock, [now] director of palliative medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, urged physicians at the [same] conference to focus on suicide prevention with some of their terminally ill patients."

"Says philosophy professor Mark Foreman: "According to a study of the British Medical Association, the state of palliative care and hospice care in Holland is very poor. ."

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"Boughey noted that in Oregon (where the Death with Dignity Act has legalized physician-assisted suicide under certain circumstances) private HMOs are increasingly promoting the euthanasia option."

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As we have seen before, efforts to increase revenue (undertaken by HMOs, for-profit corporations and even non-profit health care corporations) or reduce government expenditures, twist the provision of health care into something that uses patients as a means to a financial end, something completely contrary to what is beneficial to the patient. Paying for a lethal agent to end a patient's life is much cheaper than providing a full range of hospice or palliative care services until the patient dies a natural death. The billions in savings that hospice already provides annually to the health care budget (compared to acute care hospital admissions) are apparently now "not enough" for those exploiting patients for gain.

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True reform of the health care system can never occur when methods of hastening death or directly imposing death are included in the mix. Respect for the patient's life and clinically excellent end-of-life care are not possible when euthanasia, assisted-suicide and/or palliative sedation are used to impose death. They are mutually exclusive.

to what's important in medical research and clinical practice

Of course, when this thing called "hospice" or palliative care , it's good, really good. But when it dishonors life, destroys life, it's bad, really bad. Ten years ago, I warned that hospice could become the "killing fields" of America. The implementation of widespread terminal sedation has made that a reality. With the HIPAA Privacy Rule's absolute wall of silence, everything is ready for that outcome, and it's already started.