Videos: Specter calls for suspension, investigation for VA “death book”

posted at 8:48 am on August 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Chris Wallace dismantles the VA’s Tammy Duckworth over the reintroduction of the pamphlet “Your Life, Your Choices” in this Fox News Sunday interview yesterday. She followed the Wall Street Journal’s Jim Towey, who revealed the VA’s new directive from July that doctors use this book to discuss end-of-life care for vets with a variety of conditions. Wallace makes a great point when he asks Towey why doctors have to discuss end-of-life decisions when veterans are confined to wheelchairs or have emotional and financial issues when most people only consider those in cases of irreversible comas or the like. Duckworth tries to defend the indefensible, and gives it her very best effort:

The argument didn’t woo Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA), who showed up at Fox to debate health-care reform with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Wallace started by asking about the VA program, and while Specter took care to praise Duckworth (herself a wounded vet), he also said he would demand an investigation of the booklet this morning when he returned to the Senate, and called on the Obama administration to immediately suspend its use:

Specter said that the current bill did not include any such booklet, but neither does the legislation authorizing the creation and maintenance of the Veterans Administration. It got imposed by the bureaucrats running the single-payer system, who apparently think that referring vets to the Hemlock Society is a pretty good idea. These are the kind of decisions that we’ll see in GovernmentCare, and we know that because (a) the decision has already been made by a version of GovernmentCare — the VA — and (b) Duckworth got on TV to defend this decision.


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