Hospice is for Caring ... or is it for Killing?

Read an observation of what happened in the Appeals Court hearing on April 4, 2003.

Hospices all over the country broadcast their deep and abiding commitment to serve the needs of the dying, who may have truly distressing and painful symptoms during their end-of-life period. Many hospices and professionals work tirelessly to relieve these symptoms. And we have the greatest respect for the doctors, nurses and other staff who care so much about those who are suffering and serve them selflessly. However, there are others in the industry who do not subscibe to the basic beliefs of those who founded this industry. There are those who would do the opposite of what most hospice professionals believe in.

Leaders of the Hospice of the Florida $uncoast, one of the largest nonprofit hospices in our nation have taken a different path. They have manipulated a helpless disabled woman into their hospice, even though she is not terminal. The hospice's C.E.O., Mary Labyak, travels all over the nation speaking at national and state conventions about hospice and end-of-life matters, yet she is willing to pervert the mission of hospice. She wishes to help kill a defenseless woman, Terri Schiavo, in the hospice she controls.

Labyak: "Changing the Way People Die in Our Community"

Labyak believes everything she does is just fine, even conspiring to kill Terri Schiavo. She has written as recently as March 19, 2003, that she has spent her life with the goal of "changing the way people die in our community."

What is truly scary about Labyak is that she is a woman who actively wants to impose death upon the helpless disabled in our community, embodied by the prisoner of this hospice: Terri Schiavo.

Labyak states that she has "actively upheld the vision, values and philosophy that is the foundation of hospice and palliative care." Nothing could be further from the truth! This lady doesn't have a clue what the foundation of hospice is if she believes Dame Cicely Saunders and Elizabeth Kubler Ross would approve of Labyak's recent activities at this hospice! Or perhaps Labyak has suffered a complete lapse in memory of what the foundation of hospice is? The local community in Florida and around the country will not tolerate making hospice a place of killing and that is what Labyak wishes to accomplish!

The greatest embodiment of the hospice spirit is Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who worked for decades serving the dying, the poor and other patients. She revered the lives of each person she cared for. We can be certain that Mother Teresa would never execute Terri Schiavo as Mary Labyak intends to do. That is the test and Labyak fails it miserably. Her evil design is exposed for what it is, the moment one considers and asks, "would Mother Teresa kill this helpless woman?" Labyak would not even dare to say that Mother Teresa would do it, but even still clings to the plan of making hospice a killing place. She calls it "aid in dying." Double-talk. Deceit. Betrayal of the hospice mission!

Labyak brags that she is a great pioneer. If so, she is a pioneer of death dealing and the worst perversion of the hospice movement!

Under Labyak's direct leadership, the hospice stands ready to kill Terri Schiavo at any time the judge says "ok." The hospice, directed by Labyak, stands willing to cooperate in carrying out the wishes of Terri's husband who has fought in court for years to kill his wife, who, judging by his actions, is his wife in name only now. Michael Schiavo has chosen to live with another woman and had a child by this other woman. Terri Schiavo Yet, Michael Schiavo uses the money awarded to Terri, in order to try to end her life by withholding food and water from Terri. Is this the pioneering vision of Mary Labyak? Is this what she has spent her life working towards? Anybody would die if they were starved to death and not given any fluids. Is this the direction Mary Labyak and the Hospice of the Florida $uncoast wish to lead all hospices in our nation? Only through the valiant efforts of Terri's parents has Labyak (and the hospice) been prevented from killing Terri!

                Terri Schiavo

Will Mary Labyak, The Hospice of the Florida $uncoast and its Board of Directors make hospice a place that terrorizes the disabled? The Hospice Industry constantly complains that patients enter hospice too late for the patients to receive the services that hospice has to provide during the end-of-life period. Yet, if hospices are willing to kill patients, like Terri, the the Hospice Industry is shooting itself in the foot! Many patients will refuse to enter hospice if this practice is to become more common, as suggested by the leadership of Mary Labyak and the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast!

Articles about Hospice of the Florida $uncoast's patient, Terri Schiavo, who is NOT terminal, have been in the news both locally in Florida and in the national news. Why is a non-terminal patient even allowed to be in the hospice? The board of directors has a duty to make sure the hospice follows the guidelines for running a hospice. All hospice boards and staff know that only patients who are truly terminal can enter a hospice. Why hasn't the board protested the admission of Terri Schiavo into the hospice?

Why does Mary Labyak do nothing when everybody knows Terri is not terminally ill? Why is Terri NOT receiving therapy for rehabilitation as she needs? Why was the temperature in Terri's room set in the 60s until Terri's parents protested? Why are hospice employees forbidden from speaking to others about Terri Schiavo's condition or care, or, how the hospice is treating her? If you don't approve of the hospice actions, call them at: 727-586-4432 and let them know how you feel!

Are Mary Labyak, The Hospice, and its Board of Directors
Remaining True to the Original Hospice Mission?

     Hospice of the FL $uncoast stands ready to kill non-terminal patients!

We want to know how Mary Labyak explains her willingness to keep Terri Schiavo, a non-terminal patient, a vulnerable DISABLED patient, in the hospice? We want to know why Mary Labyak is willing to not only approve of Terri Schiavo being killed; we want to know why Mary Labyak is actively willing to direct her hospice staff to participate in the killing of Terri Schiavo! Killing is not something that belongs in hospice! Hospice is for caring, not killing. As Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the modern hospice movement said, "Hospice care is there to make it possible for people who are dying to live fully until they die." Terri Schiavo is not dying! And the hospice is not allowing Terri Schiavo to live fully while she lives.

They are participating in denying Terri her right to rehabilitation and free access from the public. Even if the guardian, Terri's husband Michael Schiavo (who is living with another woman and has another child by this other woman) is willing to kill Terri (also see 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) why does Mary Labyak continue to agree to go along with such a shocking violation of everything hospice stands for?? Mary Labyak is leading hospice into an ethical sewer by leading it into acceptance of "killing" as part of the services hospices are to offer.

Ongoing Conspirary to Murder Terri Schiavo!

Do members of the board of directors approve of killing vulnerable patients ?? The answer is obviously, "Yes!" Unfortunately, this hospice (formerly a leader in ethical hospice practices) has taken a turn toward the dark side of hospice practice. Labyak, a right-to-kill zealot, is also on the board of Partnership for Caring. Partnership for Caring is a well known pro-right-to-kill group which advocates adding "aid in dying" to the menu of hospice services. PFC and Labyak's vision: "we are here to serve you," OR, on the other hand, "we are here to kill you!"

Some hospice industry leaders advise us to "go soft" on Partnership for Caring, saying that they offer many valuable services to the public. While that may be true, it is unacceptable for PFC to advocate imposing death on patients through terminal sedation or any other means as a "service" to vulnerable patients. While they "say," they would only kill those who asked to be killed, we know that once the floodgate is opened, many unwilling patients would be killed, just like in the Netherlands where thousands of patients are known to be killed against their will each year!

The phrase they like to use is terminal sedation. Sedation is easy to understand. What does the "terminal" in "terminal sedation" mean? In Byock's vision, like Labyak, it means that the patient will be sedated until they are terminated. The real meaning of the proper use of terminal sedation is that a patient who is terminal is sedated when they are agitated or have uncontrolled symptoms. Mis-use of terminal sedation is a widely practiced method of killing patients without having to report euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide. It's "under the radar" and easily covered up murder.

This hospice, Hospice of the Florida $uncoast, favors being able to offer murder to its "wide range of 'services' to its patients." Of course, it doesn't call it "murder;" that would be too honest!" Hospice of the Florida $uncoast is continuing to cooperate in the conspiracy to to kill Terri Schiavo. And the board members are cooperating in the conspiracy to kill Terri Schiavo. How?

First of all, Terri Schiavo is not terminal. No doctor has ever said she was terminal. She is a vulnerable and disabled woman who is in great need of love, care and therapy. And she is clearly not in a coma, no matter how many bought doctors testify (after being paid thousands of dollars) that she is. The hospice under Mary Labyak's direction, and at George Felos' direction, has admitted Terri Schiavo into the hospice, even though hospice is licensed to care for terminally ill, not the disabled non-terminal!

For a few years now, she has been held captive in the hospice which is willing to compromise the rightful function of hospice as a place of caring for the dying ... and use hospice to kill the vulnerable and disabled! While under the law, a guardian may direct how a patient is to be treated, the hospice is not obligated to participate in Terri Schiavo's execution! And yet, that is exactly what this hospice is doing!

How did this situation arise? Hospice chairman of the board at the time, George Felos, is the attorney representing Michael Schiavo's efforts to kill Terri. When Michael Schiavo contacted Felos, George had just the place to kill Terri: his very own hospice! So, he stepped down from the board, temporarily of course, until the legal battle to kill Terri is over. After the legal battle, we're sure good old right-to-kill-patients-advocate George will be right back on the board. George is a student of Ira Byock, MD irabyock.org (perhaps the most well-known hospice physician in the United States) who advocates adding "aid in dying" (through terminal sedation) to the mix of "services" provided by hospices. (Byock publicly fights legalization of assisted-suicide but has no problem with terminal sedation being used for things other than clinically specific "intractable pain" that can't be managed with pain medications alone or for "terminal agitation" &151; which are the appropriate applications for "terminal sedation.")

Has the Hospice Avoided the Appearance of a Conflict of Interests? [No!]

I guess the answer to that depends upon who you ask. We note that attorney George Felos is certainly not "unassociated" with the hospice and its board of directors. But did you know that Judge Greer, the judge in this case, was a Pinellas County commissioner for the county back in 1984 through 1992. Guess who also was a county commisioner from 1984 onwards? Hospice Board member Barbara Sheen Todd was elected Pinellas County commisioner back in 1980 and served in public office since that time, being re-elected several times. It is certain that for the eight years Judge Greer was a county commissioner, he certainly knew hospice board of directors member Barbara Sheen Todd quite well.

What is the basis of Michael Schiavo's legal actions to have Terri killed in the hospice? In an interview for CNN TalkBack Live discussing the issue "Ending Life Support: Who Decides?" (aired 5/30/01) Michael stated that Terri said she wouldn't want to live this way (or see 1). Who are the other witnesses? "Testimony" from Michael's own brother and another in-law of Terri, that Terri "once said" she wouldn't want to live like this. In other words, there is not one blood-family member of Terri that is saying Terri would want to be killed given her condition. In fact, Terri's family states exactly the opposite, that Terri never said that and would want to live. Not only that; Terri's family states that Terri needs rehabilitation and is being deprived of the rehabilitation that would help her recover.

Is it hard to imagine why Michael Schiavo's own brother or sister would support his side of the story? Why is Michael Schiavo unwilling to even allow Terri to benefit from rehabilitation? It certainly wouldn't take long to prove the issue one way or the other: just give her the rehabilitation and see if she benefits. Why the fear of even trying? He certainly has the money; Terri was awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars specifically for her benefit, yet Michael won't allow it to be spent on rehabilitation.

Now Terri stays prisoner of this hospice. A decision affecting her fate lies in the hands of the courts, but it will be this hospice's staff under the leadership of Labyak that terminate her life, if the court allows it. It is likely they would use terminal sedation on her. Just "put her to sleep" like a dog. That's what this hospice is cooperating in doing. One of the leading proponents of terminal sedation, Dr. Byock attempts to straddle both sides of the fence: saying he is against physician-assisted suicide, but willing to terminally sedate people to death.

Byock is a big proponent of using "terminal sedation" to kill patients by sedating them into a coma and letting them dehydrate to death: the "peaceful hospice death" which disguises murder! Dr. Byock's double-talk on the issue of physician-assisted suicide is quite common among those who advocate killing off certain individuals in hospice. Physician-assisted suicide is illegal in Florida, so to get around it, they choose hospice and terminal sedation. But is there much of a difference between assisted someone to die, euthanizing them and terminal sedation of the vulnerable and helpless?

Of course, there is a valid use of terminal sedation, and that is to ease agitation or delirium in the terminally ill or used in conjunction with analgesics to treat severe uncontrolled pain. Any other use of terminal sedation to permanently sedate a patient and withhold food and water is intentional killing, plain and simple. Byock is not limiting the use of terminal sedation to cases where the patient is severely agitated, in delirium or has uncontrolled pain. And George Felos certainly is not. In Terri Schiavo's case, the deliberate withholding of food and water to cause death is advocated. Felos has a long history of fighting for the right to kill patients (oh, should we say "right to die?") Right-to-kill organization "Compassion in Dying" directly cites Felos' efforts to kill Terri as an act of "compassion."

"Felos ... was a founding member of the National Legal Advisors Committee on Choice in Dying, and served as Board Chair of The Hospice of the Florida $uncoast. Where did the phrase "choice in dying" come from? Well, there was an organization called the Euthanasia Society of America which changed its name to "Choice in Dying" which no longer exists - it merged into the "Partnership for Caring" which was founded by Ira Byock, MD. Mary Labyak was corporate Secretary and Treasurer of Partnership for Caring (now merged with Last Acts to form "Last Acts Partnership," the largest coalition of hospice industry lobbyists in the world).

[Update for 2005: Last Acts Partnership ceased its activities and all rights and copyrights to material produced by both Partnership for Caring, Last Acts and Last Acts Partnership were legally obtained by the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization which has never renounced the dark agenda of these successor organizations associated with the former Euthanasia Society of America! Since NHPCO represents the national policymaking leaders within the hospice industry, it can be stated with certainty that the hospice industry has clearly been infiltrated by euthanasia advocates and that many hospice leaders are promoting the euthanasia agenda. - Ron Panzer]

What really is the goal of these right-to-kill organizations? They advocate the right to kill the disabled (as in Terri's case), congenitally defective babies (such as Downs syndrome and other children), those with severe cognitive impairment (such as Alzheimer's disease and others), and other unwanted vulnerable patients. One of their main spokesmen, Peter Singer of Princeton does not hesitate to state he wants to kill these people and that any child less than one month old is not a human person. That's how they get around the idea of their killing people: they deny that the person is a "person." If the patient is not a "person," then how can they be killed? ... or something along that circuitous and bankrupt path of logic.

The goal is not to only kill a patient in order to relieve their suffering due to extreme pain, since they admit that good palliative care can relieve the pain. No, they only try to legalize killing of patients by fooling the public into believing that relief of uncontrolled pain is their goal. But those who read their writings carefully see glimmers of truth that they can't hide: that they will do anything to achieve their goal, including lying and that their thoughts are very similar to the euthanasia project of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. They are not based in Christian, Jewish or even Islamic thought. Their philosophy is immoral and unspiritually based, though they proclaim they are very "spiritually" motivated. They "know" which patients should be terminated, ... of course, always out of "compassion."

Now Felos only stepped down from being chairman of the board of the hospice "to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest!" What a joke! The conflict of interest is so obvious that it cannot be wiped away by stepping down. Those who know who he is and that he was chairman of the board are not fooled by these actions. However, he and this hospice try hard to avoid "even the appearance of wrongdoing," at least that is what they keep saying. It is obvious that the connections between the hospice and Felos are as strong as any possibly could be! Felos and this hospice appear to be doing much harm to Terri, much harm to the good name achieved by hospice as an industry and harm to those who support hospice!

The board of directors has known for the past few years that Terri is not terminal. They know that hospice is not supposed to kill patients. This board of directors knows that hospice is supposed to care for the dying as long as they live, and is not supposed to kill the vulnerable! They also know that board members could intervene directly to stop the hospice from participating in the conspiracy to kill Terri Schiavo. The board of directors has not acted to stop this perversion of all that hospice stands for! Each and every member of the board of directors has NOT acted to protect the hospice from being mis-used as a tool to kill. If any member of the board of directors truly felt strongly about this, he or she could have demanded a vote on the issue and demanded that the hospice not participate in this horrible crime against a vulnerable disabled woman.

If the board of directors voted against any particular board member who objected to the conspirary to kill Terri, that board member could have resigned in protest. Yet, the board members have not resigned. They choose to stay, knowing the hospice is actively working with the guardian, Michael Schiavo, who is hell-bent on killing Terri Schiavo, using the money awarded to Terri for her care, in order to pay attorney's fees (to former, and soon to return, board member George Felos) to legally be able to kill her. What an incredible perversion of what hospice is about, what a guardian is supposed to do and what a husband should do! Terri is not in a coma. Terri is not in a persistent vegetative state. She is responsive and needs therapy.

Is this hospice doing all of this for free? Is the hospice getting paid to conspire to kill Terri Schiavo? We don't have the records, but normally hospices bill for their services to Medicare, Medicaid or another health care insurance company. It is safe to assume that the hospice is taking money to cooperate in this horrible conspiracy to kill the vulnerable and disabled. But who knows? They may care so much for the right-to-kill patients, that they are doing this conspirary to kill Terri for free ... in order to set a precedent, so they can kill other patients!

Of course, they can falsely state that Terri is in a coma or whatever fabrication they wish to make up about her condition, but the truth is the truth. Terri has been videotaped responding to her parents. The hospice is careful not to release that video to the public. They don't want the public to know the truth! And if they succeed with Terri, then watch out! They can kill any other disabled person they choose to!

Now (12/02 through 3/03), the hospice is actively cooperating with the guardian in denying Terri needed medical care for an infection. If they can't kill her by withdrawing food and water (yet to be determined in the Appeals Court), they are trying to make an end-run around the law and kill her sooner by letting her go untreated for a respiratory infection ... possibly develop pneumonia and then die. Do you support this type of hospice? Is that where your donations should be going ... to a killer hospice? If you don't approve of the hospice actions, call them at: 727-586-4432 and let them know how you feel!

Read Terri Schiavo's father's plea for appropriate medical attention for his daughter's respiratory infection to the hospice. Get more information from the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Foundation. Please let others in your community know about the patient-killing practices of Hospice of the Florida $uncoast. Ask your neighbors if they want their donations to support the killing of patients!

At least we know that Hospice of the Florida $uncoast, Mary Labyak, and all of its Board of Directors are willing to let hospice become a place of killing, not caring!


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