‘death panels’

if you are diagnosed with a terminal condition, possibly six months to live, and informed of all your options, including hospice or palliative care, wherein you are kept comfortable and in less pain in a secure environment of your choosing, how is that a ‘death panel’? no one is forcing you to choose euthanasia. i know firsthand how when a family member is old and dying, some procedures are considered more risky than effective, and the dozens of drugs they are on are no longer prolonging life. even physical therapy is absurd if they can’t even move or stay lucid. in fact, trying to whip a frail, dying person into shape with costly therapies is more like a death panel for them, to use that disingenuous expression. people who use terminology like that have obviously never been in that situation, trying to help their parent or loved one find the most appropriate care in their final months or weeks. if someone is worried about some hypothetical situation in which they will be forced to choose palliative care vs. extreme heroic measures, that is what advance directives are for. doctors and family will respect your wishes in any way possible. not only does it make sense to be able to choose for yourself how you want to spend your final days, but it’s compassionate to give people that choice. and if you’re only concerned about taxes and government spending, consider how much money is saved by not forcing someone to be kept technically alive, or in extreme misery, for your own biased motives. calling informed choice ‘death panels’ indicates misinformed hysteria, not compassion.

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