As the Wall Street Journal reports here, the Veteran’s Administration is providing seriously wounded veterans with a pamphlet entitled “Your Life, Your Choices“, which encourages veterans to refuse treatment and die.
“Who is the primary author of this workbook? Dr. Robert Pearlman, chief of ethics evaluation for the center, a man who in 1996 advocated for physician-assisted suicide in Vacco v. Quill before the U.S. Supreme Court and is known for his support of health-care rationing.
“Your Life, Your Choices” presents end-of-life choices in a way aimed at steering users toward predetermined conclusions, much like a political “push poll.” For example, a worksheet on page 21 lists various scenarios and asks users to then decide whether their own life would be “not worth living.”
The circumstances listed include ones common among the elderly and disabled: living in a nursing home, being in a wheelchair and not being able to “shake the blues.” There is a section which provocatively asks, “Have you ever heard anyone say, ‘If I’m a vegetable, pull the plug’?” There also are guilt-inducing scenarios such as “I can no longer contribute to my family’s well being,” “I am a severe financial burden on my family” and that the vet’s situation “causes severe emotional burden for my family.”
When the government can steer vulnerable individuals to conclude for themselves that life is not worth living, who needs a death panel?”
This pamphlet was devised in the Clinton Administration. The Bush administration stopped it from being used. The Obama administration reinstated its use last month. Vets interested in advanced directives are given one resource to contact in the pamphlet: Compassion and Choices, better known under their prior, and more accurate, name The Hemlock Society. I trust that there is a very warm place indeed in the next life for those who would attempt to convince someone who is severely injured protecting me and mine that their life is not worth living and that they are merely a burden on society.
Yeah, I really want these caring compassionate people in charge of my health care.
A very worthy cause I contribute to each year is Paralyzed Veterans of America . Those who gave their all for us deserve the best that we can give them.
Update I: Chris Wallace today, August 23, 2009, grills Assistant Secretary for Veteran’s Affair Tammy Duckworth, a veteran who lost her legs in Iraq, on the pamphlet.
Duckworth’s position seems to be that there is nothing wrong with the pamphlet and the VA is not using it, both of which are factually challenged statements.
Here is the interview Chris Wallace also conducted with James Towey who authored the Wall Street Journal piece.
Update II: Ed Morrissey is on the story here at Hot Air.