June 18, 2015
Tax dollars could be spent to “nudge” older people to agree to premature death under Senate bill
On its face, S. 1549 purports to promote neutral, fully informed “advance care planning” that will assist patients to implement their own values in legally valid directives. Unfortunately, however, there is abundant evidence, documented in the March 2015 NRLC report “The Bias Against Life-Preserving Treatment in Advance Care Planning,” that a combination of cost pressures and the ideological commitment of a significant number of health care providers to hastening death for those deemed to have a “poor quality of life” would in practice lead to many federally funded advance care planning sessions being used to exercise subtle – or not-so-subtle – pressure to agree to reject life-preserving treatment.
Entities conducting such programs openly boast of how much money they have saved insurance companies by inducing patients to reject expensive life-saving medical treatment. Advocates believe it will save Medicare money as well.
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