NRLC: Bias obvious in advance care planning promotion

Friday, March 20, 2015
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

An Institute of Medicine report apparently favors advance care planning in ObamaCare – but there may be a hidden motive in advancing the concept.

When ObamaCare was first proposed, one of the provisions called for doctors to be paid to talk to Medicare patients about advance care planning – i.e., whether they would want lifesaving medical treatment. Burke Balch of the National Right to Life Committee reminds OneNewsNow that following an outcry from the public the provision was dropped – but he contends it is now being revived and, in part, encouraged by the Institute of Medicine.

Nat'l Right to Life Committee (NRLC)"And a lot of health insurers are now paying organizations to cold call their beneficiaries – those who are insured – to start sort of talking them [about] agreeing to sign documents that say they'll forgo [such] treatment," he explains.

NRLC's report [PDF] suggests those callers are nudging people in the direction of rejecting surgery or treatment in favor of palliative care – for example, for pain – and they die.

"And our report documents that a lot of these companies, these insurers, are taking this advice and trying to skew the information," Balch shares, "[and they're] trying to frankly trick people into decisions that they wouldn't necessarily make, based on their own values and ethical principles, to reject even ... food and fluids [for example]." And that, he adds, isn't a medical treatment but a life necessity.

So Balch says in effect what is being done is to convince people their lives aren't worth living. Why? He says it's because "it's going to save the government or it's going to save the insurance companies a lot of money."

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