Thursday, August 27, 2009

The "Death Book": Fox News At It Again

According to Fox News's Chris Wallace, the Obama Administration wants to euthanize our nation's veterans, and they've come out with a "Death Book" to tell them how to commit "assisted suicide":

According to Daily Kos, here are some of the facts behind what the "Death Book" really is:

1. Fox's alleged "death book" is actually a guidebook on preparing living wills

The thing Fox is calling a "death book" is actually a guidebook called "Your life, your choices" initially developed in 1997 to help veterans understand issues relating to advance directives and living wills should they ever experience a medical condition (such as a permanent coma) where they cannot communicate their treatment preferences. Although the guidebook can be downloaded, it carries a disclaimer noting that is currently being updated and revised for a 2010 release. (See this article for more information on the revisions.)

Despite Fox's claim that the guide encourages assisted suicide and euthanasia, it is solely focused on helping veterans determine what type of care they wish to receive if they should ever became incapable of making their wishes known. The guidebook specifically makes clear that it has nothing to do with assisted suicide, which is illegal.

2. Although Fox said VHA practitioners must give the guidebook to each of the 24 million vets they serve, there is no such requirement

According to a directive issued in 2007 under President Bush, the guidebook is merely an example of the type of document that VHA practitioners should give to patients who ask for help with living wills.

3. The Bush administration, not the Obama administration, included the guidebook in the VHA handbook.

In February 2007 the Bush administration's VA issued a directive listing the guidebook as an example of the type of documents VHA practitioners should give to patients who want help drafting living wills. In July 2009, the Obama administration issued a minor update to portions of that directive, but did not language on the guidebook at all.

Click here if you want to read more.

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