Wednesday, December 19, 2018

US Euthanasia Bill All But Dead - For Now

Margaret Dore &
Dawn Eskew
This year, the US Congress considered the "Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act," bills H.R. 1676 and S. 693. The Act seeks to provide financial support for palliative care and hospice education centers, including direct patient care.

The Act was viewed as noncontroversial. Indeed, H.R. 1676 passed the House on a voice vote without opposition.

There is, however, a catch.

This is because US euthanasia advocates are currently promoting "medical aid in dying" (euthanasia) as "palliative care."[1] There is a similar situation in Canada, where "lobbies are trying to influence the government to include so-called Medical Aid in Dying ... in palliative care."[2]

The significance is this: If the Act is passed into law and the above advocacy efforts are successful, medical aid in dying (euthanasia) will become part of palliative care and therefore part of the Act. More to the point, the Act will legalize and also finance euthanasia in government funded centers throughout the US. The Act is a closet or "springing" euthanasia bill.

With the new Congress scheduled to convene on January 3, 2019, the Act is all but dead for the current session. Choice is an Illusion and its president, Margaret Dore, worked very hard to get this result. Dore, assisted by Dawn Eskew, provided a detailed legal and factual analysis of the proposed Act and in person lobbying on site in the US Senate, and also via direct contact with the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (OIG), to alert it to the existence of the Act and/or how passage will undermine OIG's mission to promote integrity of the US Medicaid program.

The Act, however, will likely return given the House vote approving it without opposition.

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[1] "Aid in Dying" is a traditional euphemism for euthanasia. See In the US, Compassion & Choices (the former Hemlock Society) is running articles and providing other material describing "aid in dying" (euthanasia") as palliative care.  For examples, click this link:
[2]  See "Euthanasia, assisted suicide aren't palliative care," at