Monday, August 04, 2008

We interrupt this pop-culture blog... save the elderly and chronically ill from the State of California.

Good grief, I hate to be right sometimes, but I saw this coming two years ago when the Chinese doctor on ER euthanized her father as a Christmas present.

Don't you love the rhetoric of this latest way to kill people? "Terminal sedation." Doesn't it just take you back to killing unborn babies as "dilation and extraction"?

Please pray.


Dear Friends,

Our faith and the church itself are being gravely challenged at this moment. Bill AB 747 on terminal sedation is anticipated to pass the Senate in August and be sent back to the Assembly where it was narrowly passed last month.

The bill will mandate a physician to offer terminal sedation to all patients a doctor believes has a terminal illness; this can be anything from cancer to diabetes. It requires the doctor to tell a patient they can be sedated till unconsciousness and then starved to death. It will lead to euthanasia and place in jeopardy many souls who might select this treatment out of fright when told they may have a life threatening illness, even if it can be treated.

It will jeopardize all Catholic hospitals as they may be mandated in the future to provide such care. From a moral stand point it may mean the closure and loss of the Catholic presence in our community and across the nation. This is what they want.

I urge you to call, write, and do all you can to convince (especially Democratic Assemblymen) to vote no on this bill. We need only to change 4 votes. Thanks.


Dr. Vincent Fortanasce


Apparently this story goes back to late June, and the Catholic Bishops managed to rally a coalition of care providers to stop the bill. Here is a message from the CA Bishops web site:

AB 2747 - A Legislative Victory

Late on Wednesday, June 25, Assemblywoman Patty Berg (D-Eureka), the author of AB 2747 , End of Life Care, was forced to take the amendments which removed the language creating a platform for the legalization of assisted suicide. She accepted the amendments—which had been requested since the introduction of the bill in February—in order to secure the votes needed for her bill to pass the Senate Health Committee. On the following morning, the amended version cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee—only after the author accepted a number of other suggested technical amendments. The Judiciary Committee chair, Senator Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro), who may have been opposed to the bill in its original form, was the deciding vote which she cast with the caveat that "a lot of work still needs to be done on this bill."

The author's capitulation occurred because of the outstanding work of the lobbyists and physicians of the Northern California Oncologists' Association (ANCO), the representatives from the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)—as well as the advocacy of the many dedicated members of Californians Against Assisted Suicide , and the emails sent to Senators by the subscribers of the Catholic Legislative Network . If you participated in this effort—a heartfelt thanks to you!

The amendments in the revised bill included:

* Expansion and clarification of the definition of "healthcare provider"
* Removal of the definition of palliative sedation
* Removal of the definition of Voluntary Stopping of Eating and Drinking (VSED)
* Removal of the "one year or less to live" trigger for discussion of end-of-life "care" options
* Removal of palliative sedation and VSED from the menu of end-of-life "care" options
* Recasting of the section requiring the transfer of a patient requesting a treatment his/her healthcare provider declined to offer—to allowing a transfer only when the healthcare provider did not comply with the patient's request for information on end-of-life care options.

The last amendment listed above disabled the author's intent to funnel patients to Compassion & Choices (formerly Hemlock Society) and satisfied the oncologists—who already provide information early and often to their patients.

This "event" was an important win for us. The amendments the author accepted now make the bill a hospice/information bill only—not a stealth bill setting up a mechanism for hastened death. We remain committed to quality end-of-life care including ensuring that patients are aware of the benefits of hospice and the availability of adequate palliative care and pain medication. We will continue to work with others to secure that reality.

Thank God for this victory, and thanks to Bill Cork for the update. But we have to know it is only temporary. As soon as the Culture of Death figures out how to make killing the elderly profitable, they will be back with a whole new rhetoric of choice and how to control your dying. I am sure their are lot so fpeople now who are regarding the whole grey-haired baby-boomer generation with capitlistic glee - how to make $$$ by sending to their graves the generation that sent millions of unborn babies to theirs. Ah, the delicious irony of history.

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