by Jane St. Clair
Author of Walk Me to Midnight
As a board member of Hospice Patient Alliance, I’ve been working hard on the 2010 election, sending emails to every candidate to the US Senate and House of Representatives. We’re asking them for their views on physician-assisted suicide and how they would protect the medical care of the elderly and terminally ill.
Some HPA members are medical professionals working in hospice, and they can tell horror you stories about what’s already going on with euthanasia. One member of our board became active after she watched her beloved father die through medical abuse. These people know what’s up.
HPA is against euthanasia of the terminally ill, elderly and handicapped people, and wants to make the language of the new health care laws stronger to better protect these groups.
I will send every reply to local media.
HOSPICE PATIENTS ALLIANCE SURVEY
SENT TO CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES
Hospice Patients Alliance is a volunteer organization that protects the medical care of the elderly and the terminally ill. The Alliance is getting involved in this election cycle because we are receiving more calls and emails than ever about abuses in patient care. We have already learned that indigent cancer patients in Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal, have received letters that they no longer “qualify” for chemotherapy but can choose doctor-assisted suicides, paid for by the state, in lieu of medical care.
We are asking candidates for Congress to go on record on issues relating to the care of the elderly and terminally ill. We do not want people, because of their age or condition, to be denied second opinions, correct diagnosing procedures, and proper conventional medical protocol and treatment. We want to stop the practice of “termination sedation” in which patients receive so much medication that they become unable to make their wishes known. We want you to take a stand against both passive and forced euthanasia of the elderly and the terminally ill, as well as the legalization of assisted suicide.
We want to know:
1. Do you support physician-assisted suicide?
2. How do you plan to protect the elderly if health care is to be financed through cuts in Medicare? Do you favor restricting access to health care for the elderly that they presently enjoy?
3. Would you vote to change the current health care law to better protect terminally ill patients and the elderly? How do you plan to protect them?
We are contacting newspapers, television, radio and other news outlets with our concerns and will keep them informed of candidates’ views.
Thank you for your interest in this matter, and we look forward to your reply so that we can forward your views to the appropriate people in the media.
HOSPICE PATIENTS ALLIANCE, INC.
Ron Panzer, president
Jane St. Clair, Vickie Travis, Lisa Brenner and Joanne Lestone,
HPA Board Members