A patient advocate group is greatly concerned that hospitals may
be deliberately hastening the death of patients.
A survey conducted by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
(AAPS) questions whether penalties for hospital readmission and
other factors might cause hospitals to hasten the death of
patients. The survey finds most people do not know patients who
were placed on "terminal sedation" and denied fluids and
However, as Dr. Jane Orient of the AAPS tells OneNewsNow,
a majority of those surveyed believe Medicare's punishment for
hospital readmission may be the cause of some patients' early
Of those surveyed, "17 percent said they did have first-hand
knowledge of patients who were placed on terminal sedation with
denial of fluids and nutrition when, in the doctor's opinion, they
could have recovered with aggressive treatment," Orient
The survey was launched after one individual heard that a
patient who had been relatively healthy was near
"She came back from a trip and found that someone who was
usually in very good shape was near death in the hospital, being
treated with terminal sedation," Orient notes. "[She] managed to
stop this, and the patient recovered and did fine afterward."
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons was founded
in 1943 to protect against government takeover of medicine.