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"Death panels" were so last week; the "death book" is the new conservative fad
Following several days in which Fox News promoted the smear that an educational booklet on end-of-life decisions used by the Veterans Health Administration is a "death book," Fox News host Megyn Kelly and Fox News contributor Jonah Goldberg used a discussion about the booklet to revive the falsehood that Democratic health care reform legislation would institute "death panels." Kelly also falsely claimed that the booklet encourages veterans to "hurry up and die" and that VHA officials are "required" to refer patients to it.
KELLY: Well, just as the White House says that people's fear about so-called "death panels" is baseless, critics now claim the administration is actually pressuring certain disabled veterans to, quote, "hurry up and die" -- that's the accusation. Asking physicians at the nation's VA hospitals to refer to our nation's veterans to a pamphlet called "Your Life, Your Choices."
Title sounds innocuous enough. However, inside, this booklet asks veterans to decide whether their lives are worth living if they are, for example, in a wheelchair, in a nursing home, or if they have become, quote, "a financial burden to their families."
GOLDBERG: And I think, you know, the problem here is the defense that [Assistant Veterans Affairs Secretary Tammy] Duckworth offers, saying, "Oh, well, this wasn't put forward by the Obama administration." She's sort of saying this sort of burbled up from the bureaucracy, which no one really disputes. That is not all that helpful. Because one of the points that critics of Obama's plan make is that this -- once you get the structure for it, it'll be on autopilot, and the bureaucracies will naturally tend towards exactly this kind of thing and death panels may, in fact, be not too far off on the horizon because of the very nature of how socialized medicine and rationing works. [America's Newsroom, 8/24/09]
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