Our Lady of Soccorso
The Misuse of Hospice Care
August 11th 2017 @ 3:05 pm

 
California Right to Life Committee, Inc.
2977 Ygnacio Valley Rd #243, Walnut Creek, Ca 94598
(925) 899-3064
http://www.callifeadvocates.org/blog

August 11. 2017, Walnut Creek, Ca.  Euthanasia, by any other name, such as assisted suicide, palliative care, planned health care, Polst or death with dignity is still the same; the planned ending of one’s life by a 3rd party, time certain, for the convenience of the family, the bottom line of the health care industry or society in general.

How is this happening in our country?  It’s happening through legislation and legislatively appropriated tax funding of agencies who comply with the legislation and church and community organization groups who are promoting what they refer to as compassionately arranged deaths of persons 18 and over who are ill, handicapped, have a terminal condition or who might have  such in the future.

You may recall that abortion started out with Roe v Wade and Doe V Bolton court decisions, as only for the very serious cases of disability of the baby or life of the mother but is now available to anyone for any reason or no reason. It will eventually result in active euthanasia for all.  Repealing and Replacing the Affordable Care Act might help stop its progress, though.

The language of health care and its legislation is becoming quite subtle with a vocabulary of its own.

Terms to keep in mind:

  1. Palliative Care: originally intended as delivery of drugs for relief of pain or restlessness or panic in the final stages of life.
  2. But now expanded for usage in earlier stages of illness as a prevention of any of these situations.
  3. Palliation Produces a diminished capacity in patient to be involved in his/her own care decisions, loss of appetite and interest in surroundings.
  4. Hospice Care:  originally intended for those patients in the last 6 months or less of life. Now being expanded to non-immediately terminal patients.

Here are four (4) bills dealing with end of life care. 

SB294, Ed Hernandez (D) Hospices: Palliative Care.

  1. Expands definitions of palliative care, skilled nursing and serious illness.  Authorizes  Hospices to receive patients in earlier stages of terminal illness who would be administered both palliation drugs and curative drugs and treatment.  These two types of treatment are opposites, sapping the energy and awareness of a still vibrant patient.
  2. Location:  Sent to the Governor than taken back for further negotiations between the Dept of Pubic Health and the legislators. When negotiations complete bill will return to Asm Appropriations Committee for acceptance and then on to the Governor.  No information is available as to changes.

This is a rare And concerning  situation.

 AB937, Susan Eggman, Health Care Decisions: Order of Priority.

  1. This is directed at the patient authorized Health Care Directive Agent including the signatories on the POLST form.
  2. It relieves the medical personnel from the responsibility of locating the designated health care Directive agent and, accepting alternate agents.
  3. Specifies that this bill does not create or expand any existing duty to locate an individual’s health care instruction.
  4. Location:  Bill has become a two year bill upon its failure to pass to the Governor during the first year of the two year term.

SB219, Scott Wiener (D-S.F) Long-term Care Facilities: Rights of Residents.

  1. Enacts the Senior LGBTQ Citizens Long-Term Care Facility Bill of Rights. The bill seeks protected status for those patients who perceive that they are not being provided proper care and respect.
  2. Call the Assembly Appropriations Com. And urge a “NO” position 915-319-2081.  Chairman is Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, (D) formerly with San Diego Labor Council. Frank Bigeow, (R) V. chair 916-319-2005

SB97, Assembly Health Budget Committee. 

  1. This bill, referred to as a health trailer bill includes the funding requirements for every health designated bill needing funding.
  2. There are dozens of health care/Medicaid bills included. It is over 100 pages and requires an expert in legislative funding language to comprehend. 
  3. This bill will be voted on  by an Assembly floor vote , following approval of the general budget bill itself. There are other trailer bills for appropriating the funding for bills that were passed without the required funding being stated.

THE CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE RETURNS FROM RECESS ON AUGUST 21 AND COMMITTEE AND FLOOR VOTING WILL BEGIN AGAIN. Call your Assembly member to vote “NO” on AB294.

Here is an example of misuse of  patients’ rights to legislatively enforced health care:

Our office received a phone call recently from a woman seeking support for a complaint filed with the courts seeking justice for the claimed Hospice initiated death of her father while under the care of a particular Hospice agency.

Her father, in the later stages of an illness, but quite rational, entered the care of a hospice agency. He signed a POLST form, but only that part that complied with his request for full curative treatment,

His wife, third marriage, was named as Health Care Agent, the patient’s daughter was listed as second agent.

According to the daughter’s claim, following closely upon the father’s entry into the facility Hospice personnel went to the wife and asked her to change the POLST form to allow for limited provision of curative care stating that the patient was not competent to make his own decisions.  No one informed the patient’s daughter of the changes.

The father died within two months of entering the facility though his own doctor had not declared him to be near terminal stages of illness.

The daughter, sensing that something was wrong with the whole situation began gathering records and data and had obtained a finding of illegal action on the part of the Hospice and the wife.

The patient’s daughter has for the last two years been gathering data and medical records.  She has asked for help in locating an attorney who would handle the court appearances.  She needs someone familiar with health cases.

Call our office if you are willing to step forward for this or if you know of someone to whom you could refer this woman. Thank you on her behalf.

-Camille
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Take away God, all respect for civil laws, all regard for even the most necessary institutions disappears; justice is scouted; the very liberty that belongs to the law of nature is trodden underfoot; and men go so far as to destroy the very structure of the family, which is the first and firmest foundation of the social structure.
- St. Pius X, Jucunda Sane, March 12, 1904