Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Now, folks, Obama says there aren’t death panels. He pooh-poohs the notion that there aren’t death panels here. The Wall Street Journal has an interesting report. ‘If President Obama wants to better understand why America’s discomfort with end-of-life discussions threatens to derail his health-care reform, he might begin with his own Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He will quickly discover how government bureaucrats are greasing the slippery slope that can start with cost containment but quickly become a systematic denial of care. Last year, bureaucrats at the VA’s National Center for Ethics in Health Care advocated a 52-page end-of-life planning document, ‘Your Life, Your Choices.”

The VA has a 52-page end-of-life planning document. It has a name. It’s called the ‘Death Book,’ and what has happened here, George W. Bush suspended the use of the Death Books last year. Obama has reinstated the Death Book! ‘After the Bush White House took a look at how this document was treating complex health and moral issues, the VA suspended its use. Unfortunately, under President Obama, the VA has now resuscitated ‘Your Life, Your Choices.” So it’s called ‘Your Life, Your Choices.’ That’s what it’s actually called. But it’s a Death Book. And it ‘presents end-of-life choices in a way aimed at steering users toward predetermined conclusions … [A] worksheet on page 21 lists various scenarios and asks users to then decide whether their own life would be ‘not worth living.”

I have page 21 right here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers. Page 21 from the Death Book, from the VA, reinstated by Obama. ‘What makes your life worth living? Instructions: This exercise will help you think about and express what really matters to you. For each row, check one answer to express how you would feel if this factor by itself described you,’ and there are, you know, A through S here. Here’s A. ‘I can no longer walk but get around in a wheelchair.’ Life like this would be: ‘difficult, but acceptable; worth living, but just barely; not worth living; can’t answer now,’ and the people reading the book are supposed to check off which of these things apply. So, ‘a. I can no longer walk but get around in a wheelchair.’ Eh, difficult. I could take it. It’s worth living, but just barely. Not worth living.

‘b. I can no longer get outside — I spend all day at home.’ Can you…? You’re asked to say, you know, to hell with it. I don’t want to live that way. It’s the it’s not worth living if I can’t leave my house. Hell! ‘c. I can no longer contribute to my family’s well-being.’ Eh, that’s not worth living. ‘d. I am in severe pain most of the time. e. I have severe discomfort most of the time (such as nausea, diarrhea, or shortness of breath).’ My God, that can happen when you’re constipated! So you’re sitting here saying, ‘Okay, I’m constipated. Life’s not worth living.’ Well, you don’t have diarrhea when you’re constipated until you do the fix.

‘f. I rely on a feeding tube to keep me alive.’ Eh, that’s not worth living. ‘g. I rely on a kidney dialysis machine to keep me alive. h. I rely on a breathing machine to keep me alive. i. I need someone to help take care of me all of time. j. I can no longer control my bladder. k. I can no longer control my bowels. l. I live in a nursing home.’ I live in a nursing home. Yeah, that’s difficult but acceptable. Worth living but just barely. Not worth living. ‘m. I can no longer think clearly — I am confused all the time.’ That describes half the population. ‘n. I can no longer recognize family/friends.’ That sometimes could be a blessing.

‘o. I can no longer talk and be understood by others. p. My situation causes severe emotional burden for my family (such as feeling worried or stressed all the time). q. I am a severe financial burden on my family. r. I cannot seem to ‘shake the blues,” and then there’s a section, ‘s. Other (write in).’ Here are the instructions: ‘To help others make sense out of your answers, think about the following questions and be sure to explain your answers to your loved ones and health care providers. If you checked ‘worth living, but just barely’ for more than one factor, would a combination of these factors make your life ‘not worth living?’ If so, which factors? If you checked ‘not worth living,’ does this mean that you would rather die than be kept alive?

‘If you checked ‘can’t answer now,’ what information or people do you need to help you decide?’ What makes your life worth living, and here are the things they want you to assess in the VA Death Book, and Obama has the audacity to say that in his health care plan — and he reinstated this. Bush killed it. Obama reinstated it. He has the audacity to say that there aren’t anything called death panels or such things in his health care plan, and he’s asking veterans to basically say, ‘You know what? I want to check out. To hell with this! I live in a nursing home. Screw it! Pull the plug. Where is Dr. Kevorkian?’ This thing is obsessed with death. It’s obsessed with you deciding, or maybe some influence, that your life isn’t worth living. There’s nothing positive in this.

It’s not, ‘In these circumstances, what would it take to make you want to live?’ Nothing. It’s all about: ‘What’s it gonna take for us to get rid of you, with you making the decision?’ And, by the way, regardless your decision, we’re going to be making it for you because of money. You’re going to become a budget statistic. People’s fears are justified. You know, this is simple. This is not a complicated thing for people to understand, and that’s why he’s having major problems with this. The VA Death Book brought back to life by President Barack Obama.

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