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A New Proposal for End-of-Life Counseling

John on August 24, 2009 at 10:27 am

Ramesh Ponnuru over at NRO’s The Corner notes that Sam Stein at HuffPost (via TNR’s Ed Kilgore) is mining some territory previously brought up by Joe Klein in Time magazine. Stein writes:

Some of the same conservative figures taking potshots at Democrats for wanting to fund voluntary discussions about end-of-life decisions between doctors and their patients were leading the charge four years ago to contravene the decision by Schiavo’s husband and guardian to remove the feeding tubes from his wife after she had spent 15 years in a vegetative state.

[...]

All of which may currently be contributing to how hard these very same lawmakers are now attacking Democrats and the president for promoting voluntary end-of-life consultations.

Ed Kilgore calls this an irony, i.e. Republicans against end-of-life counseling now were for it then. Silly conservatives. Don’t they see how inconsistent that makes them?

Of course this leaves out the key element. To what end is the counseling/intervention aimed?

In the case of Terry Schiavo it was aimed at erring on the side of life. In the case of HR 3200 it seems to be aimed at saving money. These are very different ends. Is it really surprising that pro-lifers support one type of intervention and not the other?

Just to put Sam Stein’s mind to rest, let’s propose an amendment to HR 3200. Let’s propose that, as in the Schiavo case, the government will henceforce be authorized to intervene to prevent forced starvation and err on the side of life wherever possible.

I’ll support that and there’s not a whiff of irony about it.

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Category: Pro-Life |

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