Thursday, December 30, 2010


The Grotesque Overtly Propagandizers (GOP) are renewing their bogus claims about "Death Panels" and the rationing of Medicare. The Department of Health and Human Services put the end of life counseling provision into the CFR.

The New York Times suggests that DHHS conducted a black ops manuver by inserting the end of life counseling provision into the CFR.  The New York Times report is based on an apparent e-mail from Oregon's Democratic Representative Earl Blumenaur, where he makes a gaff in telling his supporters to keep the unbroken news on the down low as not to inflame the passions of the GOP. Earl, always remember and never forget, we favor more speech over less speech, especially when we speak the truth.

The New York Times needs to get real. Tens of thousands of regulations routinely appear in the Code of Federal Regulation without the pomp and fanfare of a press release. The New York Times' conspiracy about non-disclosure of each item in the CFR makes them look more like the National Enquirer instead of a leader of the Fourth Estate. As Jed Clampett would say, "Pitiful, just pitiful."

The end of life counseling gives a person an opportunity to discuss how they want to go. If a person wants everything done to prolong their life, no matter what, then they get to have that put down. Their wishes will be followed. If a person says "don't keep me alive on those damn machines for any longer than a week, I don't want to be vegetable taking up space," then those wishes will be followed.

End of life counseling is about maintaining control of the dignity of life by assuring dignity in death. I have repeatedly told my daughter that if cold beer and ham sandwiches, placed in front of me, remain untouched for more than a day then she should tell the powers that be to pull the plug. They can harvest whatever organs are of use to others or science. Not everyone has had that talk with their loved ones.

Rather than just 'fess up about the last time the GOP dropped the ball by fighting science they Grotesquely and Overtly Propagandize over the so-called "Death Panels". Come on Republicans admit that a rational approach to death is not only wise and  prudent, it is a good thing.

The elephant in the room isn't the symbol of the GOP. The elephant in the room is the legal debacle left in the wake of Terri Schaivo's husband trying to follow her wishes and pull the plug so her brain dead carcass could be buried with dignity.

She didn't get her wishes followed. She got a bunch of religious fanatics, resembling a parade from the Dark Ages, telling her poor grieving family that each autonomic nervous flinch in her failing body was proof that Terri was alive and viable. In my world view science and faith inform one another.  Unfortunately the opposite view took hold in the case of Terry Schaivo. Her family deserved more than the media-political driven load of manure that was dropped on them.

Remember what happened? Congress waded into the tragic circumstances of this brain dead woman, pretending to fight for life, and got the federal courts involved to save her life, a life which was already gone. Despite the efforts of a Republican Congress and a Republican President and his Republican Governor brother, the court's operated as they were intended to function. In the end the plug was pulled. An autopsy settled the debate. Terry Schaivo's brain was shrunken to about the size of a grapefruit - it no longer functioned. She was brain dead.

End of life counseling isn't about the government telling Grandma when she has to die. End of life counseling gives the dying person the comfort of knowing that their passing will be as peaceful as possible, to them and to those they leave behind.

I have seen a lot of death. I have it seen it in the Emergency Room. I have seen it in the Operating Room. I have seen it in hospital rooms and on city streets.  I have been present in the face of death.

A sentiment all who face the Grim Reaper will share is that we don't want anyone selling tickets to the event. Neither do we want the meter on life's expenses to continue running after we have left our shriveling bodies in our journeys to the Great Beyond. Absolutely we don't want politicians, lawyers, judges, and especially not persons on radio and television pretending to be journalists making a circus of our demise.

End of life counseling is a good idea, preparing a Living Will is a good idea.  Talk to your family and loved ones about what you want done when the times comes.  Write those wishes down on paper and sign the thing.  Don't listen to propaganda.  Don't fear the Grotesque Overtly Propagandizers, neither listen to them.  You can always change the radio dial or turn off television's FOX FEARMONGERING. 

May I suggest a good book instead? 

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