Palliative Care and Hospice Education Training Act (PCHETA) H.R. 1676 a prescription for euthanasia
This is the letter EPC USA sent out this week (8/28/18) re (PCHETA) H.R. 1676
RE: Palliative Care and Hospice Education Training Act (PCHETA),
H.R. 1676 now in Senate HELP Committee (S. 693 is an identical bill)
As Chair of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition – USA, I am urging you to vote against and oppose the PCHETA bill, H.R. 1676, for two reasons: government funding is unneeded and a government stamp of approval may hoodwink people. The bill provides federal funding for palliative care medical education and an information dissemination option for “selling” palliative care to patients. Palliative care grew out of and includes hospice care. It provides an earlier pathway to hospice care and in some cases to euthanasia.
Government Funding is Unneeded
Government funding is not needed. If enacted, the bill will cost the federal government $86 million dollars over the next four years. https://www.cbo.gov/publicatio
A Government Stamp of Approval May Hoodwink People
A government stamp of approval may lead more people to palliative care that can endanger their lives. Palliative care can start alongside normal medical care providing pain and symptom relief, but eventually shifts to hospice care without an explicit discussion and decision. A recent HHS-OIG report, https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/report
Instances of patients being overdosed to unconsciousness until they die (sometimes called “palliative sedation”) with food and fluids (also called “slow euthanasia”) have increased according to Duke University professor Farr Curlin, M.D.:
Many patients and their families don’t trust HPM [Hospice and Palliative Medicine] and are resistant to it.… These individuals tell stories about loved ones who declined slowly over time, fighting the good fight with the support and companionship of their family members and friends. When HPM professionals became involved in their care, their loved ones were put on powerful drugs, became unconscious and unresponsive, and were soon dead. These stories are clearly shared within communities and powerfully shape people’s perceptions of HPM, which many see as a sophisticated and seductive way of getting people to die.
A 2014 Washington Post series about hospice, the Business of Dying, provides several examples of people fitting Dr. Curlin’s description who received powerful drugs and died shortly after enrolling in hospice. https://www.washingtonpost.com
Nearly two-thirds (66%) of U.S. hospice and palliative physicians prescribed palliative sedation (deliberate sedation to unconsciousness until death) in the past year; just over half (53.3%) think its acceptable to use it for nonphysical symptoms including anxiety, existential distress (feeling useless and hopeless) and depression; and over half think palliative sedation should be ordered without nutrition and hydration, meaning the person will die of dehydration.
Blurring of Palliative Care and Assisted Suicide
The predominant view of U.S. physicians in another study was that palliative sedation and assistance in dying, a euphemism for assisted suicide, were nearly indistinguishable. Compassion & Choices, a supporter of this bill which is silent on content,  is to assisted suicide and euthanasia what Planned Parenthood is to abortion. Do you really want them filling in the gaps and designing a curriculum for hospice and palliative care providers?
A Better Approach
Professor Curlin calls for integrating palliative care aimed at pain and symptom management into medicine instead of creating a rival form of care. Wouldn’t it be better to educate/update all physicians and nurses about pain and symptom management?
I hope you will do everything you can to kill this bill.
Chair – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA
 “Mr. George Soros is now funding a project that focuses on the development of palliative care globally; helping governments develop pain and palliative care initiatives and policies.” https://www.mskcc.org/experien
 “The money sustaining so-called right to die groups in the United States comes from arch-leftist billionaire George Soros, who has spent decades bankrolling all manner of social-engineering schemes.” https://capitalresearch.org/ar
 Farr A. Curlin, MD Hospice and Palliative Medicine’s Attempt at an Art of Dying, ch 4 in Dying in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Lydia Dugdale, MD, MIT Press 2015 at page 48.
 Maiser S et al., A Survey of Hospice and Palliative Care Clinicians’ Experiences and Attitudes Regarding the Use of Palliative Sedation, J Palliat Med. 2017 Sep;20(9):915-921 at 916-17.
 Rietjens JAC, et al., Approaches to Suffering at the End of Life: the use of Sedation in the USA and Netherlands, J Med Ethics 2014;40:235–240, at 237.
 See https://www.compassionandchoic
 Infra note 3 at 54.