Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's official: the "death squads" are coming

Sarah Palin must be shuddering.  Looking over her shoulders at every turn, hoping that a respirator or a feeding tube won't be sneaking up on her.
Beginning January 1st, 2011, doctors will be funded by the Feds to advise patients on end-of-life care.  This means perhaps recommending that terminally ill patients forgo aggressive, maybe even untested treatments that might not do them any good anyway.  Then again there is that chance a miracle could happen, so I won't be a total pessimist.  I will, however, be a realist and concede to the odds and the patient's undoubted pain.  Please bear in mind that the majority of these people will be cancer patients who are in the latter stages of  that insidious, consumptive disease.  Their bodies will already have been ravaged.  While I have never experienced such a fate, I can wholeheartedly understand someone who raises their hand and says "Hold.  Enough.  I'm done."  The aforementioned Palin has called this the beginning of "death squads."  Boehner fears it being the beginning of "government-encouraged euthanasia."

That's the good ol' GOP for ya.  Keeping you alive for more pain when you're already dead.  The President, however, countered smartly and retorted long ago that nobody is talking about "pulling the plug on grandma."  Everyone should have the course of their own treatment placed in their own hands.  Everyone should be able to make their own end-of-life decisions well in advance so that friends and family members can at least be assured in such dour times that the person they love is being treated according to their wishes.  And before you ask, no.  I have never been in the position to watch someone I love...or even remotely like for that matter...be pulled off of life support or make the active decision that they no longer wish to live.  I'm sure it isn't fun.  Should that melancholy occasion strike me and said individual makes the decision as to how they wish their own life to end, I can almost certainly guarantee you that I'll be at peace with it.  Sad, but at peace.  Especially if they had been in great pain.  That is a decision that I would want that individual to make for themselves and not have Boehner and certainly not Palin make for them.

I envision a future where end-of-life decisions are based around care and compassion and not religious or political correctness.

Speaking of ol' Sarah, I watched It's A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve.  I hear that in her book, she mentions it as one of her favorite films.  I really stood up and took notice when Potter made a comment about the world getting "lazy rabble instead of a thrifty working class."  It struck me as very Republican.  
No wonder it's her favorite. 




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