Q: How did this become a question of euthanasia?

ISAKSON: I have no idea. I understand — and you have to check this out — I just had a phone call where someone said Sarah Palin’s web site had talked about the House bill having death panels on it where people would be euthanized. How someone could take an end of life directive or a living will as that is nuts. You’re putting the authority in the individual rather than the government. I don’t know how that got so mixed up.

Q: You’re saying that this is not a question of government. It’s for individuals.

ISAKSON: It empowers you to be able to make decisions at a difficult time rather than having the government making them for you.

Q: The policy here as I understand it is that Medicare would cover a counseling session with your doctor on end-of-life options.

ISAKSON: Correct. And it’s a voluntary deal.