Hospice Patients Alliance: Consumer Advocacy

"THE LONG-TERM SOLUTION"

By Ron Panzer
President Hospice Patients Alliance
September 17, 2008



The most important task for anyone wishing to solve the problem of death being imposed within hospice is to understand how this situation arose. I spent about 1 1/2 hours on the phone today explaining to a distraught physician why her loved one was killed in hospice with an overdose of morphine and sedatives. She could not understand why any physician would order medications (or any nurse would administer medications) in a way so as to cause death prematurely, before a natural death occurred. The patient was eating, talking and NOT actively dying, but his death was hastened and food and liquids were withheld, though he could eat and absorb them before the hospice took over his "care."

Since before the 1930s, the Euthanasia advocates have worked relentlessly behind the scenes to transform society, to change how people think about death, dying and to replace the sanctity of life ethic with the quality of life "ethic." Obviously, they have succeeded since just about every educated person in the country knows about "quality of life" issues and also is very aware of the idea that when the "quality of life" is poor, there may be a reason to "let the person go."

The use of morphine (and other medications) to kill was perfected by the Nazis in Germany. Read the book, The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide by Robert Jay Lifton

What would someone living at the time of the Nazis, just before World War II say to someone who complained, "they killed my brother in the mental asylum." Many residents of the German mental asylums were summarily executed, either with a gun or injections of morphine. Could the family member "complain" to the government? Yes. But would it change anything? No. Why? Because the government wanted the deaths. Hitler called them "useless eaters." Those who killed such were Nazi doctors, nurses and soldiers, and were praised for promoting the goals of the state.

Our government wants the very elderly and severely or even congenitally disabled to die, to never have lived, to be aborted. Why? Because they believe that there is no value to those lives. Why? Because when these individuals are eliminated, the government no longer has to pay Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security or other benefits ... the health care expenditures are reduced and the budgets are more easily balancd. Hitler wished to reduce expenditures on these types who were unwanted by the Nazis. Our government wishes to reduce expenditures for the care of these types of individuals in our society. The economic incentives are huge, and our elected officials cannot resist. They just make sure that none of the killings are allowed to be publicized. They make sure that nobody "knows" that they are silently, behind-the-scenes, encouraging such deaths.

Many do not realize that our Congress placed into law an ethical system based upon values similar to those promoted by the Nazis. Strong statement? Yes, but true. In the early 1970s, the Congress created what was called "Federal Ethics," now called secular ethics or the ever-popular "bioethics." Prominent "ethicists" are quoted routinely in the major media pontificating on their view why someone's life is worthless, why certain babies, infants, children or adults should be killed, and why it is all for the "greater good" of society. The Nazis cared much about the "State." All efforts were focused on doing what was best (in Hitler's view) for the State. While we do not see ovens incinerating the bodies of the masses, we do have a HIPAA Privacy Act that hides the details of individual deaths all across our nation and prevents anyone from learning the extent of the killings done individually, in separate beds, by different health "care" practitioners.

Diane Irving, PhD has written the clearest description of how our Congress placed into law a system of ethics that violates the very heart of our Constitution, the Hippocratic Oath and the values that have made America Great. See her articles, "The Bioethics Mess" and "What is Bioethics?" These two articles are must reading for anyone who wishes to understand the problem, how it arose, and what American citizens are facing today.

Whenever the goals of the state are put before the rights of the individual, a callous, sometimes brutal and lethal disregard for what people feel or think is instituted. When a government no longer respects the rights of its people to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," it ceases to be the shining "beacon on the hill." In other words, our nation is no longer the respecter of individual rights and considerations.

Every day we can read about individuals, families or small business owners whose rights have been trampled by local, state or federal government. Or, we can read about how individual, family or small business owner's rights have been ignored in favor of the benefit to larger corporate donors to the elected officials. Government has a legitimate role in protecting the public. It has a legitimate role in regulating industry to the extent necessary to protect the public from harm.

In every state, in just about every major industry, state and federal regulators turn a blind eye to major violations of either the laws or state administrative codes and standards within the industry. Government regulators, inspectors, judges, legislators and executives are quite friendly with industry. While industry provides many useful services and goods, they also provide a constant flow of campaign contributions and under the table "grease" to get their wishes fulfilled. See Open Secrets.

Health care and hospice is no different. I know directly, having met with state administrators of health departments, or spoken to them by phone, they are friends of hospice, can lie to your face, will lie to your face, and do not care if wrongdoing occurs within hospice.

I have been directly told by hospice administrators that they will continue to violate standards of care intentionally since they will not lose their license, will only get a "citation" and will not have to change anything they are doing.

The U.S. Justice Department rewards health care agencies and institutions that defraud Medicare. They do this, without a doubt, by forcing companies they indict on fraud to pay back only a portion of what they stole from the U.S. taxpayers through Medicare fraud. Lawyers advise health care institutions and agencies to commit fraud because it pays, and if they get caught, it still pays. Whatever enforcement exists is too little, too late and completely ineffective.

Why is it ineffective? Because the will to enforce the actual laws, codes and standards does not exist in the bureaucrats and elected officials in the government. Those who would actually enforce the laws, codes and standards, should they actually manage to get into a bureaucratic position to do so, are summarily fired, demoted or harassed into resigning. In other words, "good inspectors" are not wanted.

I never used to believe any of this, but have learned over the years that this is the reality. Whether it is the Department of Natural Resources or the Health Department, the state is not going to shut down an industry, an agency or a respected physician, for the most part.

Only very occasionally will there be any action, and that is "token enforcement" done by the local, state or federal prosecutors to show the public that they are "doing their job." Otherwise, it is "business as usual." Life goes on. Corruption goes on. People are abused, neglected, even killed with impunity.

If an industry donates to the government officials, they are protected. If they further the agenda of the government, they are protected. If they save the government money and help them balance the budget, they are protected. Hospice does all of these things and saves billions to the state and federal government.

Euphemisms are common in pro-euthanasia communication. What that means is that the reality is disguised by language that is more appealing to the public. The euthanasia industry has carefully and formally researched what terminology and phrases are acceptable to people, and have worked diligently to promote that language. Those who control the language may win the debate.

The pro-euthanasia advocates have cultivated professors in the universities (or are the professors), medical and law schools, and had a huge effect on legislation, public health department policy at the national, state and local levels. The language and ethics behind federal legislation since the 1970s in health care policy is permeated with their sectarian, utilitarian philosophy, i.e., "if you're no longer a productive member of society, supporting your life through medical treatment is a waste" ... or something along those lines. It is now called "secular ethics" or "bioethics." And these values are the values that are determining how hospice is run today. The hospice of the 2000s is not the hospice of the early 1980s or even 1990s! Hospice has absolutely been infiltrated by the pro-euthanasia zealots. A timeline detailing some of the steps taken by the euthanasia zealots to poison our society's respect for the lives of the vulnerable and detailing how they have infiltrated hospice is provided at LifeTree Organization.

Only those who subscribe to the utilitarian type of ethics promoted by the pro-euthanasia advocates are considered "respected" ethicists by the major media, and they are quoted repeatedly over the course of the year. Ethicists and philosophers who disagree are accorded virtually no credibility or written off as "religious fanatics."

What was once the standard for ALL health care is now considered fanaticism, narrow-mindedness, stupidity or ignorance. The standard was "sanctity of life" as the ethical foundation for all health care. All physicians ONCE affirmed the Hippocratic Oath. The Oath states in the relevant part:

"I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy."

That was the standard for ALL physicians, and all health care providers such as nurses.

Today, physicians do not routinely affirm that. They may swear an oath of some sort, or modify the Hippocratic Oath and state (and physicians have told me this) "except with regard to abortion" which they choose to practice. Or "except with regard to pain medications," etc.

Here is the Oath:

Hippocratic Oath -- Classical Version

"I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfil according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:

"To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art - if they desire to learn it - without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but no one else.

"I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.

"I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.

"I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.

"Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.

"What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself, holding such things shameful to be spoken about.

"If I fulfil this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot."

###

While the public trusts those in the "white coats," nurses or doctors who advise them, the public does not know that many of these nurses and doctors favor the killing of the "useless eaters," the very elderly, severely or congenitally disabled or unwanted unborn. They will not tell the family, "I favor imposing death in your father's case." They will not tell the family, "we are giving a sedative to make sure the patient does not eat or drink, and so they die from dehydration and circulatory collapse." They will not tell the family what families have overheard nurses saying: "I am just like Dr. Kevorkian, but I do it with morphine and get away with it every week."

Read, think, understand what the big picture is, then get involved with organizations that are fighting the mass execution of the vulnerable in separate, individual locations throughout our nation. Whether in the United States or in the United Kingdom (or other nations), the "duty to die" is becoming more accepted. The duty to die is imposed upon the vulnerable.

This is the Invisible Holocaust where a patient's life can be snuffed out because any caregiver decides the patient's life is dispensable. This is the Invisible Holocaust where residents of nursing homes in Holland fear taking their orange juice because it may be laced with a poison that will kill them. This is the Invisible Holocaust where a patient can plead with the nurse not to give them morphine and have their refusal ignored, and die at the hand of that nurse.

Long term efforts are what is needed. It is a generational struggle. The Greatest Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time is not even recognized by most people. The rights of the very elderly, disabled and unwanted are routinely ignored within health care settings every day.

Writing to Congressmen and other legislators, elected officials is part of it. Writing letters to the editor, speaking to groups, friends, neighbors, anyone who will listen is part of it. Exposing the truth is the only first step that will make any difference in the long term or short term.

Without an objective and realistic evaluation of the problem, there is no solution. The knowledge I have is not mine alone. The knowledge I have is gleaned from the suffering of thousands of patients and families. I have spoken with patients who were pleading with hospice not to kill them, and called me. I have spoken with doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, people of the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and other faiths, as well as people with no faith, ... people who live in perpetual anguish because their loved one was KILLED, not cared for, in a hospice setting. They cannot grieve properly, because NOBODY in the hospice or society, for the most part, even recognizes what occurred. Many are disbelieved, ridiculed and banned from even being at their loved one's bedside if they voice any protest.

These people, all across our nation, cry out for justice, for fairness, for a caring health care system. They are not being heard by our elected officials. There is not one local district attorney who has not heard of such imposed deaths. There is not one state attorney general who has not heard of such imposed deaths.

Universally, these prosecutors are political "animals." They know that their future political aspirations depend on not ruffling the feathers of those in power and going along with the "agenda." They know that hospice is the protected industry within health care. It is being promoted by all levels of government, the major media and policymakers and stakeholders who exist behind the scenes.

For this reason, the government is no longer responsive to the plight of the individual citizens who have become "patients" and have become vulnerable. However, to some extent, the government is a reflection of the public. When the public refuses to accept imposed deaths and becomes actively involved in fighting the killing of the vulnerable, the politicians will change policy to generate votes and retain their power.

Our society no longer values life the way it used to. Years ago, many children and adults died of diseases such as tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, measles, mumps, whooping cough, typhoid fever, etc. When lives are easily swept away by disease, the lives of those who survive is treasured.

Unfortunately, it probably will take major epidemics on a worldwide level for society to again value and cherish the lives of people like your loved one. Society has coarsened and turns a blind eye to the suffering of those it chooses not to notice. Patients are hidden away in institutions where they are readily forgotten and neglected. Although we can be a quite generous society, we can also be a terribly selfish and greedy society.

The greatest transfer of wealth occurs at the transition known as the end of life. Every generation, all the wealth is transferred to the next generation, in one manner or another. What a huge motivation, temptation that is for family members who wish to see an ailing patient die sooner! True believers also may hasten the death of patients who simply have the misfortune to be "cared for" by the euthanasia zealot. Their "care" is lethal, yet they believe they are doing a great service and are highly offended should you object to their actions.

Learn and know what the reality is. Then share the truth so the people's eyes are opened to what is occurring. Only then will society's course change. There is no short-term solution.

Best wishes!

If people contemplate and really see the sanctity of life, their "quality of life" arguments fall away and they will understand that we are here to care for each other, not to kill each other. Caring, and not convenience, is the sign of a civilized and just society!

Ron Panzer
for Hospice Patients Alliance
http://www.hospicepatients.org

"What I do you cannot do
but what you do, I cannot do.
The needs are great, and none of us,
including me, ever do great things.
But we can all do small things, with great love,
and together we can do something wonderful." - Mother Teresa






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