Straight Up with Sherri

Monday, April 25, 2005

They were "Allowed to Die" and "Kept Comfortable."

By Ron Panzer Pres/Founder of Hospice Patients Alliance

Are We Becoming A Nazi-Like Nation?

By Ron Panzer
President Hospice Patients Alliance
April 24, 2005

I can't help asking the nagging questions that some continually push away. When not-so-subtle or even blatant pressures are applied to certain categories of individuals in order to "facilitate" their death, is our society becoming more like the Nazi Third Reich than the land of the free? When patients are kept alive for the express purpose of having them eventually killed, is our society becoming more like the Nazi Third Reich? We are not targeting ethnic groups for extermination, but our society is targeting the elderly, severely disabled and chronically ill.

A 2001 Congressional Report, "
Abuse of Residents Is a Major Problem in U.S. Nursing Homes" confirms that even one third of all nursing homes are cited for neglect and abuse of nursing home residents. "The third most common abuse violation was the failure to protect residents from sexual, physical, or verbal abuse, corporal punishment, or involuntary seclusion ... almost 20% of all homes cited for an abuse violation -- were cited for this violation."

And a 2000 U.S.
Dept of Health & Human Services report is summarized by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging: "We're talking about people dying of dehydration because they don't get water into their system, malnutrition because they don't get enough food, and ... bed sores because they don't get turned enough," said.

How is it that in this modern, compassionate society, with the "very best" in health care available, we have people dying of dehydration, dying of malnutrition because they don't get enough food and bed sores because they are not being turned enough. These are the most basic of care needs and our society is not doing a very good job in the nursing homes that care for the vulnerable, dependent citizens of our country.

And what about criminal sexual abuse of the vulnerable? "
The state inspection reports also documented numerous instances where residents of nursing homes were subjected to sexual abuse by nursing home personnel or other residents."

And what about physical abuse of the vulnerable? "Many residents were subjected to serious physical abuse by nursing home staff. This physical abuse caused numerous injuries, including a fractured femur, a fractured hip, a fractured elbow, severe bruises, lacerations of the head, neck, and hands, bruises to the eye and bruises to the thigh, a fractured wrist, a fractured thumb, and a variety of other injuries."

Well, you may say that even that treatment does not compare with the abuse, neglect, criminal atrocities perpetrated against the Jews and others during the Nazi era, and you would be correct. However, for those elderly, disabled and chronically ill who were beat, who were raped, who were deprived of fluids and nutrition, and who did die as a result, the result is the same exact thing: imposed death!

Deprivation of hydration and nutrition is effected knowingly by corporations that intentionally short-staff their facilities. Administrators know that the direct result will be the failure to properly hydrate the residents of these facilities and over time, they will die sooner, rather than later, and the corporation believes it is saving money by hiring fewer staff to provide care.

For those who have increasing dementia, enrollment into hospice program services (provided in the nursing home or not) when these patients are not terminal, is a decision to end the life of the patient. While terminal sedation is appropriate for patients with severe agitation at the end-of-life that is not controllable through other means, it is increasingly used with the intention of ending the life of the patient, as a way around laws barring euthanasia and/or assisted suicide.


......The Nazis perfected execution by just about any method. See "The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide" by Robert Lifton for extensive details about how it was done.

And it was "policy," handed down by the "state," approved by the policymakers, ordered by the courts. And the Jews never understood the warning signs until the very end. They could not even imagine what was coming their way. Nobody could conceive that former neighbors would be so murderously evil. The world found it very hard to believe when they came across the death camps at the end of the war, or came upon the skeletal few who "survived."


The Nazis started their murderous campaign by executing those who were mentally incapacitated or brain-injured. They used the term "euthanasia" describing the murder of the vulnerable as a "good death." The Nazi doctors perfected the misuse of morphine and other drugs to kill. And when the decisions we make for the vulnerable are based on the same rationale as used by the Nazis, do we deserve to consider ourselves to be a "morally superior society?"

This is a VERY powerful piece.


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