EXPLOSIVE!!! A TIMELINE of the DEATH CULTURE!
I had the pleasure of speaking with Sally Vee over the phone today. Look forward to her becoming a leading voice and activist agianst the "culture of death" in America.
Two Decades to an American Culture of Death
Featuring the collaboration of:
From 1996 forward, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and George Soros's Project on Death in America (PDIA) implemented end-of-life (EOL) programs that fit into a three-point strategy to change American culture. The strategy for social change had been offered by Daniel Callahan in a 1995 Hastings Center Report article. He argued that America was a death-denying society. Callahan's three points were later refined in an Institute of Medicine report, and adopted by RWJF. Each RWJF/Soros initiative advanced at least one of the following strategies, denoted by these icons in the timeline:
While RWJF provided the lion's share of the funding, Soros's Project on Death in America funded the leadership. Many of the key project designers such as Diane Meier, Joanne Lynn, Christine Cassel, Charles von Gunten, Joseph Fins, and Frank Ferris were Soros scholars.
Central to this history is Choice in Dying, a right-to-die advocacy organization in New York. While assisted-suicide activists in Oregon, California, and Colorado were aggressively pushing legislation and bringing suit to legalize PAS and euthanasia, Choice in Dying quietly reorganized as "Partnership for Caring." Eschewing Oregon's prescribed overdose version of assisted-suicide, Partnership endorsed a more nuanced form of aid-in-dying. In 1994, as president of Choice in Dying, Karen Kaplan called the Oregon PAS legalization a pain control measure. By 2001, Partnership claimed neutrality on the issue of PAS and euthanasia; but its president saw tremendous right-to-die potential in the Washington v. Glucksberg and Vacco v. Quill decisions:
"the Supreme Court upheld the right of states to legislate whether to ban or to permit assisted suicide. The Supreme Court concluded that the distinctions between assisted-suicide and either withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment were 'important,' 'logical,' and 'rational.' As a result, it is constitutionally permitted for states to allow competent persons to refuse life-sustaining treatments while banning physician assisted suicide." [emphasis added]
[ M. Metzger JD, K. Kaplan MPH, Sc.D. Transforming Death in America: A state of the nation report. Washington, DC. 2001. Prepared for Last Acts.]
Thus, there have been two predominant wings of the right-to-die movement, and they are flagged in the timeline by the following icons:
The militant western movement -- Hemlock Society, Oregon Right-to-Die, Death With Dignity, and Compassion in Dying (now known as Compassion & Choices). These have been forthright advocates of PAS by lethal overdose. They are known for their direct approach to forcing change, such as through litigation. In 2003 and 2004, some of these groups re-named themselves in an effort to present a softer image to the public.
Choice in Dying/Partnership for Caring
Advocating "patient's choice," their strategy was to encourage individual choice through living wills, and to change medical and public culture through education programs. Partnership advanced two principal avenues for hastening or controlling time of death. When the new palliative care movement lobbied for change, they demanded that legislation provide one or both of these "safe harbor exceptions:"
- withholding/withdrawing nutrition and hydration
- double-effect of pain medication (allowing terminal sedation).
Some other excerpts:
but which are now commonplace in textbooks, accreditation courses, and popular culture:
withholding/withdrawing nutrition and hydration, even when the patient is able to assimilate food and/or fluids
non-reversible sedation, usually through the use of opioids a more casual view of opioids
chronic disease is terminal disease
redefining "imminent." A prognosis of "imminent death" can mean that the patient might die in a day or so; or within a year.
THERE IS SOOOO MUCH MORE! VISIT THIS LINK- READ ALL ABOUT IT- AND SEE THE EASY TO FOLLOW TIMELINE!