Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Quote of the Day

"And if you want an example of bad public policy, just look at the situation with our veterans, when you have a manual out there telling our veterans stuff like, 'are you really of value to your community,' you know, encouraging them to commit suicide. I mean, this is crazy coming from the government, and this is exactly what concerns people and puts them in fear of what the government control of health care will look like."

RNC Chairman Michael Steele

Steele is refering to the VHA meterial “Your Life, Your Choices. ”The VHA Handbook in is online. Chris Matthews of Fox News ran a graph designed to lead viewers into believing the “Your Life, Your Choices” Handbook was the only material Veterans Administration patients were refered to.

The VHA Handbook clearly states "other published resources" can be given to patients.

a. Content. Designated practitioners need to ensure that the patient understands the meaning of advance care planning and advance directives, including the information listed in subparagraphs 8b to 8f. For patients who already have an advance directive, practitioners also need to cover points in paragraph 8g and 8h. Possible clinical scenarios and treatment options need to be discussed with attention and sensitivity to the patient’s individual circumstances, needs, and culture. Patients may be directed to the exercises in “Your Life, Your Choices” (available on My HealtheVet at the web site http://www.myhealth.va.gov), or other published resources.

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