It's pure myth: There's no 'death pan...

It's pure myth: There's no 'death panel' in health care legislation

There are 1 comment on the Report news story from Aug 16, 2009, titled It's pure myth: There's no 'death panel' in health care legislation. In it, Report news reports that:

The "death panel" rumor about health care reform lives stubbornly on in spite of debunking from sources ranging from AARP to a Republican senator who pushed for Medicare coverage of end-of-life counseling.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Report news.

Since: Dec 05

Union, NJ

#1 Aug 19, 2009
Nothing being debated in Washington would give the government such authority. Critics have twisted a provision in a House bill that would direct Medicare to pay for counseling sessions about end-of-life care, living wills, hospices and the like if a patient wants such consultations with a doctor.

The bill would prohibit coverage of counseling that presents suicide or assisted suicide as an option. End-of-life counseling sessions are a voluntary benefit, strictly between doctor and patient, and it is "nuts" to think death panels are looming or euthanasia is part of the equation.

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds offering end-of-life counseling aids last days. Offering such care to dying cancer patients improves their mood and quality of life. It was funded by the National Cancer Institute.

A House proposal allows Medicare to pay doctors to chat with patients, if they desire it, about living wills, hospice and appointing a trusted person to make decisions when the patient is incapacitated.

In the new study, trained nurses did the end-of-life counseling, mostly by phone, with patients and family caregivers using a model based on national guidelines. All the patients in the study had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Half were assigned to receive usual care. The other half received usual care plus counseling about managing symptoms, communicating with health care providers and finding hospice care.

Patients and their caregivers also could attend monthly 90-minute group meetings with a doctor and a nurse to ask questions and discuss problems in what's called a "shared medical appointment." Patients who got the counseling scored higher on quality of life and mood measures than patients who did not.

Accoring to one of the researchers, patients getting such counseling often thank the nurses helping them. They seem to feel a whole lot better knowing there's someone who's looking at the rest of them and not just the tumor.

In both groups, hospital stays were rare: six to seven days on average during the patients' last year of life. It is patients and families in their own living rooms who are dealing with end-of-life care. They're not in the hospital,they're at home.

This is about helping people live with the diagnosis the doctor has given. This study reflects on what kind of support people deserve when they're dying.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Randy Neugebauer Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Cruz, eight Texas reps urge justices to let sta... May '15 Tazo 1
News Family loses one son in Iraq, the other in Afgh... (Jul '06) Aug '14 swedenforever 9
News Littlefield makes plans to open facility for il... (Jul '14) Jul '14 Impeach Obama 1
News In a SNAP, Republicans turn backs on veterans (Nov '13) Nov '13 Ex NRA member 3
News Fracking Texas: Water Woes Go On (Nov '13) Nov '13 Nick 1
News Park rangers call Rep. Randy Neugebauer's outbu... (Oct '13) Oct '13 Brainiac of Beaco... 1
News Pay Our Military Act is just a trick (Oct '13) Oct '13 alan 2
More from around the web