Saturday, June 29, 2013

Renewing the Conversation: Respecting Patients’ Wishes and Advance Care Planning

This week, there was a good hearing before the Senate Special Committee on Aging, titled "Renewing the Conversation: Respecting Patients’ Wishes and Advance Care Planning."  

A video of the hearing is available here.  Witnesses included:  

  • James Towey, Founder, Aging with Dignity and President, Ave Maria University
  • Harriet Warshaw, Executive Director, The Conversation Project
  • Amy Vandenbroucke, Executive Director, National Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Paradigm Task Force
  • Gloria Ramsey, RN, Associate Professor, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Unfortunately, there has been no movement on H.R. 1173, the Personalize Your Care Act.  I recently praised this bill in "The New Patient Self Determination Act."


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, until there is some honesty and openness in the Congress about what is going on with CMS reimbursement protocols and until the wide-spread
misuse of DNR Code Status/Observation is exposed to the American people, these hearings are merely window dressing to HIDE the current MESS.

Respecting Patients' Wishes and autonomy is already an ideal that is being undermined because of fiscal realities for the hospitals.

The Congress will NOT CLARIFY the provisions of the PSDA to prevent overtreatment and mistreatment of the elderly/disabled because they will not TAKE ON the for-profit private interests who lobbied not to be subject to the law and policy of the 1991 Patient Self Determination Act, and WON, of course.

Shame on The Congress ---both political parties --who put the private for-profit interests before the welfare of elderly Americans who have NO IDEA that their lives (sometimes) are already cut short without their informed consent whenever FISCAL FUTILITY becomes a reality for the hospitals/physicians.

The Congress has to know that this shortening of life is going on when they look out there into the United States and see the few states that are trying to PROTECT the autonomy of their elderly citizens with new "right-to-know" laws concerning hospice and palliative care.

While these hearings are going on, more innocent elderly Americans are being deprived of their autonomy to make informed choices about their end-of-life care and we, as a nation, are using passive euthanasia to save $$$$ for Medicare/Medicaid and their private for-profit partners.

Ugly stuff!

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