If you wondered what “end of life counseling” might look like, have I got some news for you! The VA has helpfully produced a pamphlet to help you “Prepare a Personalized Living Will” (the initial copy I saw, the link for which is no longer working also included the “VA ADVANCE DIRECTIVE: DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTH CARE AND LIVING WILL” but the only version I was able to find still online does not actually have that attached). In this helpful pamphlet (which I have only browsed so far — it’s really almost too disgusting to read too closely), you will find that:
People have very different notions of what it means to be a “vegetable.” Here are some examples:
• “You sit in a chair and don’t do anything all day.”
• “You can’t read anymore.”
• “You’re just a body with some life in it.”
It is inconceivable that being unable to read or “not take care of [one]self” could be compared to being in a vegetative state* by ANYONE. Except by government bureaucrats, apparently.
Imagine, for a minute, laying in a hospital bed, alone, scared, in pain, perhaps despondent at your future, and maybe even depressed. Even if you had thought that you wanted to continue with treatment (or start new treatment), after someone sits down with you and goes over this pamphlet with you, well, you might change your mind…after-all, being a vegetable isn’t at all what you thought. And, to make things easier on you, your compassionate medical counselor will help you fill out the end of life directive right now! If you weren’t suicidal yet, this “counseling” might cause you to sign away your life.
I am having trouble expressing in words the horror that I feel about this document. Please read it yourself and make up your own mind. I realize that, for the moment at least, the end of life counseling has been stripped from the bill but, like the public option, it could certainly pop right back in there. After all, we have no reason NOT to trust them, right? Anyone?
*Apparently, the technical term.