Obama Administration to Severely Wounded Vets: Suicide is Painless!

As the Wall Street Journal reports here, the Veteran’s Administration is providing seriously wounded veterans with a pamphlet entitled “Your Life, Your Choices“, which encourages veterans to refuse treatment and die.


“Who is the primary author of this workbook? Dr. Robert Pearlman, chief of ethics evaluation for the center, a man who in 1996 advocated for physician-assisted suicide in Vacco v. Quill before the U.S. Supreme Court and is known for his support of health-care rationing.

“Your Life, Your Choices” presents end-of-life choices in a way aimed at steering users toward predetermined conclusions, much like a political “push poll.” For example, a worksheet on page 21 lists various scenarios and asks users to then decide whether their own life would be “not worth living.”

The circumstances listed include ones common among the elderly and disabled: living in a nursing home, being in a wheelchair and not being able to “shake the blues.” There is a section which provocatively asks, “Have you ever heard anyone say, ‘If I’m a vegetable, pull the plug’?” There also are guilt-inducing scenarios such as “I can no longer contribute to my family’s well being,” “I am a severe financial burden on my family” and that the vet’s situation “causes severe emotional burden for my family.”

When the government can steer vulnerable individuals to conclude for themselves that life is not worth living, who needs a death panel?”

This pamphlet was devised in the Clinton Administration.  The Bush administration stopped it from being used.  The Obama administration reinstated its use last month.  Vets interested in advanced directives are given one resource to contact in the pamphlet:  Compassion and Choices, better known under their prior, and more accurate, name The Hemlock Society.   I trust that there is a very warm place indeed in the next life for those who would attempt to convince someone who is severely injured protecting me and mine that their life is not worth living and that they are merely a burden on society.

Yeah, I really want these caring compassionate people in charge of my health care.

A very worthy cause I contribute to each year is Paralyzed Veterans of America .  Those who gave their all for us deserve the best that we can give them.

Update I:  Chris Wallace today, August 23, 2009, grills Assistant Secretary for Veteran’s Affair Tammy Duckworth, a veteran who lost her legs in Iraq, on the pamphlet.

Duckworth’s position seems to be that there is nothing wrong with the pamphlet and the VA is not using it, both of which are factually challenged statements.

Here is the interview Chris Wallace also conducted with James Towey who authored the Wall Street Journal piece.

Update II:  Ed Morrissey is on the story here at Hot Air.

14 Responses to Obama Administration to Severely Wounded Vets: Suicide is Painless!

  1. […] Veterans of America . Those who gave their all for us deserve the best that we can give them. http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/08/21/obama-administration-to-severely-wounded-vets-suicide-is… __________________ To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or […]

  2. Gabriel Austin says:

    Is it a co-incidence that neither Mr. Clinton nor Mr. Obama served in the armed forces?

  3. priscilla ward says:

    What makes the Clintons and Obamas think their contribution to society is better than a helpless person who needs care? Their culture of death brings a sorrow to society greater than the unselfish loving care for others making a suffering life as good as possible, Some day they will value life when they find themselves useless ,or will they choose suicide? Would they talk their own parents or children into suicide if they thought their life not worth living? Their actions are not compassion. They are coldly eliminating undesirables.

  4. Holly says:

    Did you read this pamphlet? It is not about committing suicide. Where is “Compassion and Choices” listed as a resource? The resource mentions Choice in Dying which is a link to a website about advance directives. Here is the link to the actual pamphlet.

    Click to access Your_life_your_choices.pdf

  5. Donald R. McClarey says:

    Holly, please. The whole thing is an advertisement for embracing the Grim Reaper. Page 21 is a riot. The smart people who put this together knew what they were doing, and it was to encourage Vets in tough health situations to give serious consideration to ending it all. As to Choice in Dying, I do not know why the Wall Street Journal article referred to Compassion and Choices although I think the author may have been referring to an earlier version of the pamphlet. Heaven knows that Choice in Dying is little improvement. Read more about the organization here.


    “The most controversial right-to-die issue with which the CID has been involved recently is physician-assisted suicide. According to CID, physician-assisted suicide refers to a situation where a physician provides medications or other interventions to a patient with the knowledge that the patient will use the medications to end their life. This differs from withholding care or otherwise allowing a sick patient to die, because the physician is acting to help end the patient’s life, rather than ceasing treatment that might prolong it.”

    “The legality and morality of physician-assisted suicide has been hotly debated. CID has advocated for an open discussion of the issue, rather than supporting or opposing the practice.”

  6. Donald R. McClarey says:

    “V.A. Bureaucrats in Retreat? [Jack Fowler]

    Jim Towey’s powerful Wall Street Journal article — “The Death Book for Veterans” — was published Tuesday and revealed how the Obama administration has resuscitated a once-kiboshed end-of-life primer, Your Life, Your Choices: Planning for Future Medical Decision, which Towey says steers “vulnerable individuals to conclude for themselves that life is not worth living.”

    Sarah Palin picked up on it yesterday and put out an APB via Facebook. Then Fox announced that Chris Wallace was going to have Towey on FNS to discuss the V.A. program. And I’m told Rush Limbaugh went to town on it.

    Surprise, surprise: The PDF file for Your Life is now carrying a front-page warning that wasn’t there this morning:

    The following is a 1997 publication that was produced under VA IIR Grant No. 94-050, “Development of an Advance Care Planning Workbook,” 4/01/95 – 3/31/97. The document is currently undergoing revision for release in VA. The revised version will be available soon.

    Curious: Since this disclaimer is now on the cover page, does that mean the V.A. isn’t covering up?”

    From National Review today:


  7. Cminor says:

    I wonder if Holly read the pamphlet. The case studies were pieces of work. Note how in several the “unknown” wish of the patient is for non-treatment–how convenient!

    I’m horrified that wounded kids and elderly veterans are being issued this disaster of a handbook. It’s tough enough to deal with the life changes that a serious injury or illness can present without having people with no personal stake in your survival trying to steer your thinking in the directions it promotes.

    Even if the brochure were a completely innocuous education campaign, when soldiers (sailors, airmen) are sick and hurting is the worst possible time to bring up the advanced directive question. If the VA thinks having an advanced directive is that critical, they should be promoting it to active duty members of the military, not wounded warriors.

  8. […] Die in honor of the policy of the Obama administration policy towards severely wounded veterans as described in my earlier post on the subject.  Read their parody […]

  9. Cminor says:

    Donald, I think the money quote in the CID description you cite is about 5 paragraphs down in the History section:

    “Choice in Dying officially became an organization in 1991 with the merger of Concern for Dying and the Society for the Right to Die.”

    If I recall correctly, Concern for Dying used to be known as the Hemlock Society.

    What is really disturbing about the VA booklet is the fact that many troops disabled in Iraq/Afghanistan suffer from traumatic brain injuries. Depression is a known side effect And the VA is handing them booklets in which they’re encouraged to reflect on whether “not being able to shake the blues” may constitute a “life not worth living.” They need treatment, not a push off the cliff.

  10. Dominic Marcello says:

    Can’t find in the article where the obama admin said “Suicide is Painless!”, can someone help me out?

  11. Donald R. McClarey says:

    The title of my post Dominic is my editorial comment on what I think the pamphlet amounts to.

  12. Phillip says:

    From the words to the theme song of MASH:

    Through early morning fog I see
    visions of the things to be
    the pains that are withheld for me
    I realize and I can see…


    That suicide is painless
    It brings on many changes
    and I can take or leave it if I please.

    I try to find a way to make
    all our little joys relate
    without that ever-present hate
    but now I know that it’s too late, and…


    The game of life is hard to play
    I’m gonna lose it anyway
    The losing card I’ll someday lay
    so this is all I have to say.


    The only way to win is cheat
    And lay it down before I’m beat
    and to another give my seat
    for that’s the only painless feat.


    The sword of time will pierce our skins
    It doesn’t hurt when it begins
    But as it works its way on in
    The pain grows stronger…watch it grin, but…


    A brave man once requested me
    to answer questions that are key
    ‘is it to be or not to be’
    and I replied ‘oh why ask me?’

    ‘Cause suicide is painless
    it brings on many changes
    and I can take or leave it if I please.
    …and you can do the same thing if you choose.

  13. larbear476 says:

    Just what I would expect from Obama & Liberals.

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