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Aug
16

Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin Dishonest About “Death Panel” Scare

By Gordon Nash

I am reminded of a quote attributed to Frederick Douglass:

The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.
Frederick Douglass

This nation is headed for rougher days ahead, I fear, if those who claim to be God-fearing, virtuous, and righteous use scare tactics to win political battles.

Back on April 16, 2008, then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin had no problems with doctors and patients discussing end-of-life-decisions before the patient was unable to speak for themself. Palin even signed a proclamation to that effect. The proclamation reads as follows [empahsis added]:

WHEREAS, Healthcare Decisions Day is designed to raise public awareness of the need to plan ahead for healthcare decisions, related to end of life care and medical decision-making whenever patients are unable to speak for themselves and to encourage the specific use of advance directives to communicate these important healthcare decisions. WHEREAS, in Alaska, Alaska Statute 13.52 provides the specifics of the advance directives law and offers a model form for patient use.

WHEREAS, it is estimated that only about 20 percent of people in Alaska have executed an advance directive. Moreover, it is estimated that less than 50 percent of severely or terminally ill patients have an advance directive.

WHEREAS, it is likely that a significant reason for these low percentages is that there is both a lack of knowledge and considerable confusion in the public about Advance Directives.

WHEREAS, one of the principal goals of Healthcare Decisions Day is to encourage hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities, and hospices to participate in a statewide effort to provide clear and consistent information to the public about advance directives, as well as to encourage medical professionals and lawyers to volunteer their time and efforts to improve public knowledge and increase the number of Alaska’s citizens with advance directives.

WHEREAS, the Foundation for End of Life Care in Juneau, Alaska, and other organizations throughout the United States have endorsed this event and are committed to educating the public about the importance of discussing healthcare choices and executing advance directives.

WHEREAS, as a result of April 16, 2008, being recognized as Healthcare Decisions Day in Alaska, more citizens will have conversations about their healthcare decisions; more citizens will execute advance directives to make their wishes known; and fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the state of Alaska, do hereby proclaim April 16, 2008, as:

Healthcare Decisions Day in Alaska, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.

Dated: April 16, 2008

Major Goals of the Proclamation

  • Raise public awareness of the need to plan ahead for healthcare decisions related to end of life care
  • Encourage the specific use of advance directives by severely or terminally ill patients
  • Encourage health care professionals and institutions to provide clear and consistent information to the public about advance directives
  • Encourage medical professionals and lawyers to volunteer their time and efforts
  • To improve public knowledge about healthcare options and executing advance directives
  • To have fewer families and healthcare providers struggle to make difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient.
  • Questions to Ponder

    • Did Sarah Palin forget that she signed this proclamation barely 16 months ago?
    • Did Rush Limbaugh, or his staff, fail to research her background on this issue before Rush Limbaugh wholeheartedly endorsed her?
    • Is Sarah Palin adding considerable confusion to the discussion about healthcare choices in contradiction of her own proclamation?
    • Is this just another example of Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin being against anything President Barack Obama is for?
    • Doesn’t the American public deserve better from both these “leaders”?
    Categories : Discussion

5 Comments

1

In general end of life decisions need more facts and public education before people can truly make informed choices and provide directives to government, physicians and families. For instance, in what percentage and types of cases does resuscitation extend life and provide recovery to the standard of “quality of life”. To what extend will state laws limit terminally-ill patients to make end of life decisions, and must these decisions be determined prior to illness. These are such individual choices for our burgeoning bureaucracy to manage. The televised town hall debates where questions about healthcare reform as a means to reduce insurance spending is indeed disburbing. With time let’s hope facts, compassion and common sense will prevail but in the interim, let the debates continue.

2

I honestly don’t see that this article has any relation to the statements of Palin or Limbaugh. The proclamation is intended to raise awareness about an issue. Palin and Limbaugh discuss the issue at length and voiced opinions against the government mandating choices for end of life care. I personally experienced 2 incidents where end of life care was to be given to my father. Both times he was given 3 months to live. The first time there was a 97% mortality rate for the first year after he was diagnosed with cancer, the second time was 7 years after he opted for a surgery that saved his life. The options should be ours to make, not the governments to mandate. Those are the points that have been made by Palin and Limbaugh.

3

I honestly don’t see how you can say the article has no relation to the statements of Palin or Limbaugh. Are you kidding me?
1. The proclamation is not simply intended to raise awareness about an issue. The proclamation is solely about raising awareness about the importance of advance directives: a legal document that is used in specific situations to give medical providers (and families) guidance as to how to proceed in treating a patient who can not speak for themselves. Thus, the name advance directive: the person has thought ahead (in advance) and has written down their wishes (directions or directives) as to whether or not they want extraordinary measures taken to prolong their lives in end of life situations. It’s what mature thinking people do in civilized societies where it is acknowledged that no one lives forever.
2. Sarah Palin, for inextricable reasons, has made a sudden about face on this issue. First, as Governor of Alaska she is all for such conversations because they make sense. And, she was right. Now, suddenly, because her political opponent thinks these same conversations are a good idea, she is 100% against them and somehow calls them “death panels.” They are no such thing and she knows it. That’s the relation between the article and her statement that Limbaugh echoes. And, if you can’t see that may heaven help you because I can’t. There is none so blind as he who will not see.
3. The proposed legislation does not mandate any such conversation between doctor and patient. It simply encourages them (as does the proclamation to reduce confusion and combat lack of knowledge about a person’s options) by requiring the doctor get paid for his/her time if such a conversation occurs. If you were honest you might point that out as a legitmate difference between Palin’s proclamation and the current democratic proposal. That I could understand.
4. I am sincerely glad your father survived his two medical incidents. As you know not everyone does. But, surely you are not saying his survival rested on the fact that he did not discuss with his doctor, or family, in advance of the surgery what he wanted to have happen if he were unable to communicate.
5. It is difficult enough to get Americans to face the reality of death and dying in our society, as the proclamation correctly points out the low percentage of Alaskans who have dealt with the issue by completing an advance directive. Clouding such a sensitive issue with political dirty tricks or spin serves no one. And, it does not matter to me who is playing the dirty trick: democrat, republican, independent, progressive, communist, left, right, or center. It needs to stop.
6. Thanks for your comments, Adam. We appreciate them.

4

How do you even listen to Russ,whom is the most intellectual racist in America. He’s worst than Imus. I’ve listen to Russ from the start of the Presidents campaign,and all I’ve heard is racist slurs every over sentence.The people who listen to this clown are the ones who voted against the New President,and the real trust is the ones you hear stating that they want their Country back.What that means is ,they want their white clean-cut male as President and not the Man of Color.Even today the News is afraid to tell it like it is. Why not I say,because no one wants to tell it like it is. We hear about all these surveys taken. I’m 61 and have never been asked my opinion for any survey. Those surveys are the biggest joke in America,alone with Russ. Just one more point,if Russ had such a large audience then Obama would have lost the election.For all the vile and poisonous hatefulness he spills every day. He’s only out to make money

As far as Palin, she not cut out to be a leader. She’s a lair, uninformed but most important she uneducated as to the politics of the country in which she live. The proof is in her current status, free-lance money getter. After being put in the public’s eye during the Presidential campaign. Look at all the uneducated people in this county who voted for her, believe it or not that’s why McCain lost.LOL

5

If you don’t like what is being said, turn the dial off! America was once a country of freedom of choice and speech, and you want to selectively change that? All your knowledge is lost when you scream foul and demand a person be denied free speech. After reading this site, I find it interesting how un American it! Maybe your site and opinions should be shut down too. I came her to become informed and walked away angry at your approach. I turn the dial and I suggest you all do the same. You are all one sided. No debate here either! Don’t bother to reply anyone, I’ll never be back. You’re as infuriating as Rush makes you feel.

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