Before the health care system even undergoes further changes, things have been rough for the cognitively impaired.

If there’s one thing worse than being in a coma, it’s
people thinking you are in one when you aren’t. Yet a new comparison of
methods for detecting consciousness suggests that around 40 per cent of
people diagnosed as being in a vegetative state are in fact “minimally
conscious”.

In the worst case scenario, such misdiagnoses could influence the
decision to allow a patient to die, even though they have some vestiges
of consciousness. But crucially it may deprive patients of treatments
to make them more comfortable, more likely to recover, or to allow them
to communicate with family, say researchers.

We dealt with this issue all the time on ‘America’s Lifeline’, and experts continue to even while Americans aren’t paying attention to the subject.

And speaking of all this…

Like my President and many of our representatives, I
haven’t read the entire 1,017 pages of the [healthcare] bill, but I did
find a chilling section that we’d better talk about.

Now.

It’s beyond the sections that mandate abortion coverage under
“reproductive services”. It’s about other Americans who will not only
not be included in healthcare reform, it’s about other Americans who
will be eliminated.

Buried on pages 424-434 of the bill, in a section headed
“Advance Care Planning Consultation” the first target are those covered
by Medicare.

Pop quiz: Who are the people covered by Medicare in the US?

Answer: People over 65, people with disabilities, and specifically
(more in Part II) patients with end-stage kidney disease and those with
ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Among the usual, pious explanations about advance care directives
(living wills) and health proxies (someone to decide on your behalf if
you are unable to do so) is the true intent: Killing off people who
cost too much.

Now it’s not written that bluntly, but it’s there, nevertheless.

Here’s a snip:

Citizens receiving Medicare (elderly, disabled, etc.)
will be required to have a mandatory “Advance Care Planning
Consultation” every 5 years. That’s if you are healthy but over 65. If
your medical condition deteriorates, then these consultations will
become more frequent.

These “consultations” will include advice on “the continuum of end-of-life services.”

Stay tuned – “end of life services,” as defined in the bill, will include withdrawal of “artificial” nourishment and hydration.

And it’s only labeled “artificial” to make it easier to remove, because giving human beings basic food and water is a moral obligation, no matter how a person needs to receive it.

Stay tuned, indeed.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....