Judie Brown
Covert practices threaten the elderly and infirm
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By Judie Brown
July 30, 2019

Sometimes when we hear conversations about medically treating the elderly and the dying, we miss key words because they sound so innocent. Words like palliative care, "unable to digest food," and "refusing to eat" can be understood to mean that nothing can be done for the patient. In other words, death is inevitable. But while we might overlook these words, the practice of overmedicating a person with pain relief medication (palliative care) or choosing not to administer food with a tube when a patient can no longer eat with utensils can lead to untimely and imposed death.

Such practices have been defined as the "third path" in the euthanasia triangle. This three-pronged abuse of the vulnerable includes intentionally euthanizing a patient; helping a patient kill himself; and failing to administer ordinary care such as nutrition, hydration, and ethical comfort care. The third path is the most insidious of all because it can go undetected until it is too late. Those abandoned in their old age have died because they had no one to advocate on their behalf.

Let's dig a little deeper and find out why we should be concerned about this so-called compassionate sounding care that at times is deadly to the patient.

At the forefront of the community organizing that focuses on hospice and palliative care is an organization known as the Center to Advance Palliative Care. The CAPC plan is being executed community by community and focuses on hospice facilities because each of these provides palliative care.

But there is a potential problem here. You see, community organizing through hospice and area hospitals in order to market palliative care as the "go-to" practice can have unsuspected consequences. It might sound good, but perhaps it is not all that we think.

A couple cases provide some insight. In Alabama right now we read about the case of the 103-year-old woman named Marian Leonard, who is not suffering from a terminal illness but who is being held against her will in a hospice facility. Her own daughter has been removed as her patient advocate, and the state appointed a third-party guardian. Marian has said herself, "If you don't get me out of here, they're going to kill me."

Marian is totally rational.

In New Hampshire a couple of years ago, William Knightly died "from untreated sepsis, which he contracted at a New Hampshire hospital while under the 'care' of a hospice and palliative care specialist."

We could go on, but the point is clear. And while we are not suggesting that CAPC is responsible, we are pointing out concerns about what happens when palliative and hospice care run amok.

Registered nurse Germaine Wensley wrote "the founders of CAPC have a long history as proponents of physician-assisted suicide." And researcher Ione Whitlock revealed that CAPC, like other such organizations, has never been known for its unquestionable defense of anyone's right to life. In fact, in many cases concerns about saving money, not lives, are paramount. Perhaps this is so because the source of funding for the group in its infancy was none other than culture-of-death architect George Soros!

As pro-life Americans, it is our task, as unseemly as it might be, to make such evil known. We are obliged to unmask the covert operators and lay bare their not-so-caring practices because lives are at stake and we must defend them. Never fear in your efforts because Psalm 91 reminds us: "Yahweh's constancy is shield and protection. You need not fear the terrors of night, the arrow that flies in the daytime, the plague that stalks in the darkness, the scourge that wreaks havoc at high noon."

For more information on the third path, visit lifetree.org/newsletter/2010-11-02.html.

© Judie Brown

 

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Judie Brown

Judie Brown is president and co-founder of American Life League, the nation's largest grassroots pro-life educational organization... (more)

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