Medicare typically pays only for a few weeks of hospice care on the theory that it's for the dying, not the merely very sick. So folks sent into hospice are essentially drugged up on halidol, rendered unconscious, and then dehydrated and starved to death. Disoriented and grieving relatives are told this is the "dying process" and "he's feeling no pain" and "this is all very normal," when their grandparents and spouses are, essentially, being murdered before their eyes.
I saw this with my own grandfather two years ago. I was totally unfamiliar with what was going on. I saw them remove his brown urine from the bed, brown because essential nutrients and water were being denied him. I saw them put the lotion on his lips so that we couldn't see the evidence of willful and easily remedied dehydration. I wasn't sure exactly what was going on; I've actually never had anyone close to me but him die. But as I looked into it, it became clear; he was being euthanized in plain sight, and an entire industry has grown up around this evil practice.
When the financial incentives are flowing up and down the chain of care in the Obamacare regime, it will be all the more tempting to encourage living wills with limitations on food and water and doctor-ordered, cost-saving trips to the hospice. Two weeks later, no more "expensive bills racked up at the end of life."
I'm not very emotional of a writer/blogger, and I almost never give testimonials. But seeing this all take place was one of the most disturbing experienced of my life, and I had limited understanding and no power (or at least no lawful authority) to stop it. But I sure as sh*t won't do this to my parents some day, and I'll encourage everyone I know to do the same. There are of course some legitimate hospices out there, but I believe one must make triple sure what you're dealing with before sending a loved one to a possible scene of mass murder.
Monday, August 10, 2009
When Hospice Care provides the Terri Schiavo treatment
Chris Roach, commenting at What's Wrong with the World, reports his horrible experience with the scandal of hospice care: