Wednesday, December 23, 2009
ObamaCare Will Require Classes on Euthanasia....
Canada's Assisted Suicide Battle and an Ad Campaign.
The stickers are forthright in their message, dreamed up by art director Andy McKay and Manson, his creative partner at Toronto's Cundari Group. They have both been affected by "bad deaths" among their friends and family.
The faux plaques "commemorate" three fictional people – Donald J. McLeod, Rosa Maria Allende and Kathleen (Kay) Mandell – and point to an information website that McKay and Manson created in their spare time, dignityindeath .com.
The site went live last month and, in slightly more than a day, the stickers had generated 1,500 hits, says Manson.
It has since gone viral, stirring heated debate on sites such as adsoftheworld.com about what one poster terms the "five-star moral question" of how we end our lives. It's a debate that's badly needed as the tsunami of aging baby boomers stresses Canada's health system.
"I guess enough people thought the message was important. We just hoped that somebody might sit on a bench, see the sticker and talk about it," says Manson, conceding that the project has had "more reaction than we expected."
A Tough Year for the Catholic Church.
Punching, flogging, assault and bodily attacks, hitting with the hand, kicking, ear pulling, hair pulling, head shaving, beating on the soles of the feet, burning, scalding, stabbing, severe beatings with or without clothes, being made to kneel and stand in fixed positions for lengthy periods...clip
The Catholic Health Care Juggernaut.
One leading national euthanasia advocate has attacked the U.S. Bishops' revision of bioethics rules to protect cognitively disabled individuals from being starved and dehydrated to death.
Barbara Coombs Lee, the president of Compassion & Choices (formerly the Hemlock Society) condemned the new directives in a Huffington Post column December 17, claiming that the revision amounted to a violation of patients' right to choose how to die.
"Compassion & Choices understands what this will mean for your healthcare choices. And the impact of the decision is greater than you can imagine," wrote Lee, who pointed out the broad scope of impact the bishops' directives had on medical services across the country - much of which is Catholic.
The new directive, issued earlier this month with little media coverage, states that, “In principle, there is an obligation to provide patients with food and water, including medically assisted nutrition and hydration for those who cannot take food orally.”
It continues that the obligation “extends to patients in chronic and presumably irreversible conditions (e.g., the 'persistent vegetative state') who can reasonably be expected to live indefinitely if given such care.” It also clarifies that “medically assisted nutrition” becomes “morally optional” when it “cannot reasonably be expected to prolong life,” or when it would cause excessive suffering.
The new directive follows Church teaching as clarified recently in Pope John Paul II’s 2004 Address on Life-sustaining Treatments and the Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemmas, as well as the 2007 statement of by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Responses to Certain Questions of the USCCB concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration.
Lee said that the revised directive "fails to respect settled law that empowers patients with the right to refuse or direct the withdrawal of life prolonging care, including artificial nutrition and hydration."
"The Supreme Court in the case of Nancy Cruzan recognized that such a choice is a fundamental liberty guaranteed by the US Constitution," she argued. "State courts have reached the same conclusion based on State constitutional law and common law. But the Bishops have demonstrated no interest in patient choices that conflict with their Directives."
The National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), however, pointed out that the directive reemphasized the long-standing view that patients are entitled to food and water as a natural means of preserving life, which is not essentially considered a medical intervention to preserve life - even if a medical procedure is needed to put in place a feeding tube.
Fighting for States' Patient Rights.
A host of medical services that insurers must pay for in California — from cancer screenings to diabetes treatment to two-day hospital stays for delivering mothers — could be weakened or lost if the health care measures pending in Congress become law.
Currently, any health insurer selling policies in California must comply with the state's extensive consumer protections. The reform measures would allow insurance firms to sell policies across state lines if certain conditions were met, bypassing California's rules in favor of the requirements in the state where the policy is issued.
The result, critics warn, would be a "race to the bottom," in which insurance companies set up shop in states with the weakest consumer rights and skirt California's lengthy list of mandated health care services.
"This has the potential to wipe out all of these hard-fought protections," said Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, who led the drive for several of those mandates as a state legislator earlier in her career and is now threatening to vote against a health care overhaul that weakens California's standards.
Speier and 28 other Democratic House members from California outlined their concerns about interstate health insurance sales in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., last week."Practically speaking, insurers will domicile their plans in states with less stringent regulations and market to the population in more protective states like ours, just like nationally chartered banks have done," stated the letter, which was signed by several other Bay Area Democrats. "California residents will lose out if state protections are undermined."