Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Patients Deemed “Futile” by Doctors Face Encouraged or Imposed Death

What's the simplest way to avoid becoming the latest victim of our
profit-driven medical system?  Don't get sick
By Bobby Schindler
Life News

Recently, a New York Times article titled, First Rise in U.S. Death Rate in Years Surprises Experts, reported that the 2015 death rate in the United States rose for the first time in a decade.

Although the research did not attribute the rise to any one reason, in particular, it did state that the rising death rate could signal a decline in the health of the nation. We know that many Americans don’t necessarily lead healthy lifestyles, but there is deeper reason to be concerned.

In my many years advocating through the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, I’ve come face-to-face with the reality that our medical system often prioritizes their profit over their patients.

While it’s true that hospitals, the chief organs of our medical system, are necessary institutions and save untold lives, they are also the number one cause of unintentional deaths in adults—resulting in something close to 800,000 deaths annually. This means hospitals are the leading cause of death for American adults. Not heart disease. Not cancer.

Even more disturbing are the medically vulnerable patients who are targeted for encouraged—and sometimes, tragically, imposed—death when their situations are deemed “futile.” No records are kept to convey precisely how many medically vulnerable patients are encouraged to die or who face denial of care through withdrawn treatment, but we do know that it has become relatively easy for medical professionals to withhold lifesaving or life sustaining treatment.

Currently, 46 states recognize a provider’s right to refuse life-saving or sustaining medical treatments. New Mexico, for example, allows hospitals to deny care if “the treatment would not offer the patient any significant benefit, as determined by the physician.” In Maryland, the attending physician may withhold or withdrawal medically ineffective treatment if the physician and a second physician certify that the treatment is ineffective.

What constitutes “life sustaining” or “ineffective treatment,” though? In the popular imagination, these terms likely conjure images of defibrillators, resuscitation scenarios or ventilator machines that help a patient breathe. 

Unbelievably, though, access to food and water is now considered “medical treatment” for hundreds of thousands of patients across the country, and is the sort of “medical care” that would be denied in a state like New Mexico, “as determined by the physician.” That is correct, food and water.

Article continues here

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