E J Dionne asks for some common sense…
May I suggest in the warmest way possible that it would be an excellent start to a new era if opponents of the law would acknowledge that at no point did any version of the proposed reform include “death panels”?
The sensible idea on which this incendiary phrase was falsely based once had Republican as well as Democratic support and sought only to make it possible for those with life-threatening illnesses to get good information from their doctors – if patients wanted it – on the various treatment paths open to them. Really, nothing in the health-care debate was more destructive to honest discussion than the “death panels” charge. Can we at least put that behind us?
Thinking about end of life care can be difficult and often provokes intense and conflicted emotions. Talking about end of life care begins to add clarity and resolve to what had been vague and muddled. Planning for end of life care makes people feel good about themselves, their families and their future.
This conversation is essential to good health.