Congress Should Pass the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act, by Wesley Smith

Pope Criticizes Young Traditional Priests’ Clothes: Cassock Suggests ‘Moral Problems’, by Dorothy Cummings McLean
September 30, 2019
 Fr. George W. Rutler: A Grammar of Dissent
September 30, 2019


By Wesley Smith, National Review, September 27, 2019

Some anti-euthanasia activists see the bill as a Trojan horse that would fund training in assisted-suicide techniques. Here’s why they’re wrong.

When my mother was dying of Alzheimer’s disease and the sharp bodily decline that hits those in their late 90s, my wife and I brought her home for care. We consulted closely with her doctors, who referred her to a palliative-care center, where she was prescribed a continually changing regimen of interventions to relieve her intensifying discomfort and alarming mental-health symptoms.

The palliative team helped Mom tremendously. It not only prescribed pain control but also anti-psychotics to fight the various assaults mounted by her worsening Alzheimer’s. For example, before receiving palliative interventions, Mom had started suffering from terrible night terrors, which necessitated our decision to bring her home. After she received palliative interventions, the terrors subsided substantially, and when other disturbing mental-health symptoms appeared, the team was very responsive in meeting those challenges, too. I could not have been more satisfied with the care my mother received at the hands of these compassionate medical professionals.

After a few months, as my mother continued to decline, she was deemed to be dying and prescribed hospice care. Palliative care and hospice care are not the same thing. Palliative interventions broadly describe symptom alleviation across the medical spectrum, while hospice focuses narrowly on caring for the dying and generally provides greater services, such as chaplaincy, social work, and in-home volunteers.  ….