Monday, November 9, 2009

Just Covering for the Blue Dogs.

From St.MichaelSociety, a run down of Saturday night's Stupak events.

Apparently, there are many who feel Stupak is not strong enough. When your objective is ending abortion completely - repealing Roe v. Wade essentially - despite what statistics say about the effects on women's health, public opinion, and what we claim is a religiously diverse country that must accommodate all beliefs, nothing will satisfy you.

Bottomline is, there was always going to be a way, designed by the Democrat leadership, to allow pro-life leaning and blue dog Democrats to say they voted for an Amendment that prevented abortion funding. The abortion industry and its allies in the House were hoping to get by with a weaker Amendment, while still appeasing pro-life leaning blue dogs. Outside of the Hyde Amendment, Stupak-Pitts was the strongest language pro-lifers could come back with and win passage. The arguement over Stupak hurting the broader cause is silliness and a poor attempt at finger pointing. If it was not Stupak-Pitts, it would have been Capps, Ellsworth, or someother 11th hour phony insothat these blue dogs could go home and say they voted against abortion funding. Better to have an Amendment with teeth, than a phony.

We are still a long ways from this discussion being settled. In order to sustain Stupak-Pitts language in any final bill that goes to President Obama, the pro-life movement must keep the pressure up on Senators, then eventually on conference committee members, some of whom will try to remove Stupak-Pitts from the final House-Senate compromise . And, as we move forward, we must keep fighting to stop end of life counseling, i.e. assisted suicide, and work to ensure that there is a strong conscience clause protection for pro-life doctors and medical professionals as we have been covering here on the SMS site, pushing on our Facebook page and on Twitter. And, most importantly, the pro-life movement must stay as united as it has been — 240 votes is quite an accomplishment, but we are far from ultimate victory. The fight for life has only just begun.

The move to ban payment for Death with Dignity as legal in Oregon, Washington and Montana is still alive. According to lifenews:

HR 3926 also contains numerous end-of-life concerns.

The bill contains the controversial "death panels" panned in the previous legislation and it includes two clear end-of-life provisions -- including one that requires insurance companies to distribute advance directives and other planning tools to all who are insured on the new government-run exchange.

The other allows Medicare reimbursement for optional end-of-life planning consultation.

Both provisions appear to exclude assisted suicide from the consultations and advance directives, but those exclusions have no meaning in the Washington and Oregon (and possibly soon in Montana) where assisted suicides are legal.

There, state law says that "death with dignity," the legal terms in those states for assisted suicide, does not actually constitute assisted suicide.

In both states, state law says actions under the assisted suicide statute "shall not, for any purpose, constitute suicide, assisted suicide, mercy killing or homicide, under the law."

As a result, in Washington and Oregon, Medicare reimbursed consultations could involve assisted suicide planning and advance directives or other planning materials distributed by mandate. Thus, taxpayer-funded information provided under both provisions will include assisted suicide options in those states where it is legal.

To be clear (and I think, regarding misinformation on end of life provisions, I write that often), Death with Dignity acts, as law in Oregon and Washington, require the patient to bring up the issue with the doctor. Any literature that may state the laws exist - and these are laws, by the way - is fully legal. It is still within the patient-doctor relationship that Death with Dignity must be determined viable.

What could get interesting is the lack of such requirements in the Montana law. Because it comes through the courts - and is expected to be upheld by the Montana Supreme Court by the end of the year - it has no such provisions. I expect a lot of noise when the decision comes down.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home