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March 30, 2007

The Culture of Dying in America

Topics: Commentary

Advance-directive legislation was passed or amended in dozens of states across the nation in the 1990s. Just where did these laws come from? Diana Lynne, author of Terri's story, gives the fanscinating, if not horrifying answer in a powerful WorldNetDaily column:

A decade-long campaign by bioethicists, right-to-die proponents, and leaders in the hospice industry seeking to "corner the market" on death, in the words of one prominent hospice administrator. Primarily funded by $148 million from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health care in the United States, and $48 million from Soros' Project on Death in America, the campaign also had the backing of a consortium of a dozen other large, private foundations.

The mission was simple: "Transform the culture of dying" in America. The "foot soldiers" - to borrow Eisenberg's name for those individuals taking their marching orders from the conspiring foundations and think tanks - achieved their mission by rewriting textbooks, curricula, certification, and accreditation criteria at medical and nursing schools; institutionalizing end-of-life care at hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices and shifting public perception about death through a massive multimedia blitz, which recruited the talents of PBS' Bill Moyers and others.

They changed laws and minds by promoting a "third path to death" - the right of the patient to kill themselves by refusal or removal of life-sustaining treament or care. This care, amazingly, began to include food and water. One of the bioethicists mentioned by Lynne actually said in an interview on March 29, 2005, he believed Terri Schiavo - and PVS patients in general - was no longer a person.

The column is well worth the read. Incidentally, Terri's Story: The Court Ordered Death of an American Woman, authored by Lynne is an eye opening book.

Posted by tim at March 30, 2007 9:34 PM


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