FROM CHN:  ALERT --- The following information was brought to our attention.  For updated information regarding this report, please visit Hospice Patient Alliance at the URL listed in the following report.

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Angels of Death Flourish In Hospice - Four Families Report. Hospice Advocacy

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Group Initiates Letter Writing Campaign 1/25/01


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT:
Ron Panzer, President
Hospice Patients Alliance, Inc.
http://www.hospicepatients.org/1-17-01-press-rel.html
mailto:caring@hospicepatients.org
(616) 866-9127


Angels of Death Flourish In Hospice - Four Families Report. Hospice Advocacy Group Initiates Letter Writing Campaign 1/25/01

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - January 17, 2001 - The Hospice Patients Alliance has received credible reports about patients being killed in the hospice setting. Four families have come forward to publicly protest the untimely death of their loved ones and seek government intervention to save patients' lives. These patients and their families expected to receive compassionate care promoting a death with dignity. Instead, they report that the "Angels of Death" hastened the death of their loved ones Research summarized in medical journals (see below) suggests that many hundreds and possibly thousands of patients in the U.S. may be euthanized without their consent.

One common method of hospice style euthanasia is to sedate the patient into a medically-induced coma and then either shut down the breathing through the over-administration of a narcotic like morphine or let the patient die of dehydration while in the prolonged coma (known as "terminal sedation"). A second method is to withhold needed care to treat an infection, allowing the patient to die of massive systemic infection. A decision to sedate and overdose is a decision to kill. A decision not to treat is a decision to create a situation in which the patient will die sooner than expected from a terminal illness.

When patients receive a terminal diagnosis, physicians often recommend hospice care as a way of assuring a "death with dignity." However, patients cannot be sure whether they will be cared for or hastened to an untimely death. The resistance of some patients to be placed in hospice is in many cases due to their gut intuition that they may be euthanized rather than cared for ... and they would be correct in some hospice settings.

The US Office of Inspector General and state enforcement agencies confirm that chronically ill patients are sometimes fraudulently enrolled in hospices. In some cases, these chronically ill patients may be terminated after they have served as revenue sources for the hospices.

While major hospice lobbying groups and agency organizations publicly deny that there are major problems in the industry, the Hospice Patients Alliance continues to receive complaints from the public about abominable hospice care. Privately, physicians and hospice staff may be aware of the problems, but assure the public that such problems "are rare."

Nationwide Letter-Writing Campaign Begun

Hospice Patients Alliance has initiated a nationwide letter writing campaign to protest involuntary euthanasias and to encourage prosecution of those who terminate the life of a vulnerable patient. Involuntary euthanasia is the medical killing of a patient without the patient's permission and in some cases without the patient's knowledge. Medical killing of patients is illegal in every state, however prosecutors are reluctant to bring charges when the killing occurs in a hospice setting. If prosecutors do not act for crimes committed in hospice settings, then hospice may become the "killing field" where unwanted chronically ill can be terminated or where criminals may have a license to kill (with no consequences).

Some families have reported that their loved one's medical records were falsified by the hospices. This campaign is not about physician-assisted suicide which would involve terminating a patient's life at the patients request. This is about the obviously illegal killing of patients against their will, ... patients who in some cases begged to be allowed to live and not be euthanized!

The letter writing campaign will begin on January 25th after the the new U.S. administration is in place. The goal is to reform the health care system to stop such medical killings from occurring and especially to improve hospice care for all. Information about the letter writing campaign along with suggested addresses is   found at http://www.hospicepatients.org/euth-center.html
District Attorneys in California, southern Georgia and Maryland Monitored
 

Hospice Patients Alliance is carefully monitoring developments involving the four bereaved families that have approached local district attorneys for a fair and impartial investigation of the alleged medical killings of their loved ones. In Santa Ana and Los Angeles counties in California, Wayne County in Southern Georgia, and Anne Arundel County in Maryland, families report that local District Attorneys have not yet charged anyone in the alleged killing of their loved ones ... even though in some cases, many months have passed by with no action by the DAs. Whether political "strings" will be pulled by the hospices to block police from doing a full and impartial investigation in these cases remains to be seen.

The Hospice Patients Alliance, Inc. is a non-profit charitable organization offering information and assistance to hospice patients, families and caregivers nationwide. For more information, visit Hospice Patients Alliance Main Page or call [616] 866-9127.

Involuntary Euthanasia Case 1
Lucid, Poor, Elderly Veteran Euthanized Against His Will 
Involuntary Euthanasia Case 2
HMO Commits Medicare Fraud, Kills Patient and Falsifies Death Certificate 
Involuntary Euthanasia Case 3
Hospice Kills Family's Mother with Morphine Overdose
Involuntary Euthanasia Case 4
Hospice Kills Parkinson's Patient by Dehydration, Terminal Sedation and Morphine Overdose

Enter Here for Information and News On Involuntary Euthanasia, Hospice Medical Killings, Case Histories, And Much more! 

Research indicating euthanasia is more widespread than commonly thought and that some euthanasias are clearly done without patient knowledge or permission:

Go to:

1.JAMA at http://jama.ama-assn.org 1998 and search from the JAMA site for the following article: Aug 12;280(6):507-13 entitled "The practice of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in the United States: adherence to proposed safeguards and effects on physicians." written by Emanuel EJ, Daniels ER, Fairclough DL, Clarridge BR done at the Center for
Outcomes and Policy Research, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Control, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Mass 02115, USA.]

2.Archives of Internal Medicine - AMA at http://archinte.ama-assn.org/issues/v160n1/full/ioi81180.html where one must register to get the full article online. Once at the AMA - Archives of Internal Medicine site, search for Vol. 160 No. 1, January 10, 2000, "Attitudes and Practices Concerning the End of Life - A Comparison
Between Physicians From the United States and From the Netherlands" (by Dick L. Willems, MD, PhD; Elisabeth R. Daniels; Gerrit van der Wal, PhD; Paul J. van der Maas, PhD; Ezekiel J. Emanuel, PhD)

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