Assisted Suicide cannot be a priority for end of life policy

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Ocean County Register

“You matter because of who you are. You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can , not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.”

– Dame Cicely Saunders, Physician, nurse, social worker, and founder of the modern hospice

As a physician watching assisted suicide go from public policy to “medical” practice here in California, I see my own patients with chronic, life threatening illnesses as, perhaps inadvertent, but vulnerable targets of this dangerous legislation.  The experience of depression in the context of terminal illness is everywhere.  I am grateful to our own Congressman here in Orange, Lou Correa, for standing up for those who end up with less choice under the law by cosponsoring bipartisan legislation in D.C. that outlines these dangers.  This is in gratitude to the 12 cosponsors of this bill, 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans, coming together to do something right.

On such a nuanced, deeply personal, and human issue, I resist the stop-at-nothing political campaign to legalize physician-assisted suicide precisely because the basis of palliative care medicine within the hospice context is to help you live until you die naturally.  As the American Cancer Society states: “The hospice philosophy accepts death as the final stage of life: it affirms life and neither hastens nor postpones death.”  In 2017, there are means to address and alleviate physical, emotional and existential pain.  As a palliative care physician at the forefront of the field, I can assure you, many patients even here in Orange County, do not have access to these resources.  It is a travesty that we put suicide on the table as “medical treatment” paid for by state Medicaid dollars, helping vulnerable people kill themselves, forcing them to choose between death, care, pain, and debt.  Some might say that the majority of those choosing doctor assisted suicide are on hospice or palliative care, therefore, it cannot be sufficient for the needs of the dying.  Please be advised:  not all hospices or palliative programs are the same.  There is a vast difference in philosophy and care among over 100 hospice providers in Orange County. And of the palliative services provided, they are not standardized!  As a palliative care physician, for proponents to suggest that we must erase the sufferers to erase their suffering seems more like a political scare tactic than sound medicine. We should be utilizing our energy and resources instead on improving the quality of care for those at the end of life.

I feel deeply for the suffering and the dying and their families – I have dedicated my professional life to their care.  As my patients navigate a complex medical system, family and finances, facing tough diagnoses, they are vulnerable and afraid of mortality.  To suggest they have a “human right’’ to assisted suicide is both preposterous and tremendously irresponsible.  As the Oregon data shows, people are not really choosing assisted suicide due to pain or the fear of it.  Rather, as the federal legislation points out, their motivations are emotional and existential fears, mostly fearing newfound disability.  Is that truly an autonomous choice in a profit-driven healthcare system?

In light of these glaring concerns, I say first things first.  As dangerous as it can be to my patients, assisted suicide cannot be a priority for end-of-life policy.  Kudos Lou, to you and the others for fighting for the vulnerable!

Dr. Vincent Nguyen, MD, head of St. Joseph Hoag Health’s palliative care program.

Assisted suicide cannot be a priority for end-of-life policy

 

U.S. House of Representatives to Vote on H.R. 36, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on October 3rd! Take Action

The House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 36 on Tuesday, October 3rd. Take

Action Immediately!

Please call your Member of Congress and urge them to Vote Yes on H.R. 36, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act! Thank you!

Sep 26, 2017–

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced Tuesday that he will bring the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to the floor on Tuesday, October 3rd. The bill would ban late-term abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, the point at which scientists have determined that unborn babies feel pain.

“Science is increasingly showing by eight weeks children in the womb react to touch, by 20 and if not before, they feel pain,” McCarthy said. “Not only can they feel pain but if they are born at 20 weeks, these children increasingly have a chance to live, to grow, and lead full lives.”

Rep. McCarthy introduced Micah Pickering, a five-year-old boy who was born prematurely at 22 weeks gestational age (20 weeks).

“Looking at him I don’t think anybody would be able to tell,” Rep. McCarthy said. “He’s a perfectly healthy boy and I know everybody here is happy to have you here, Micah. This legislation is for children like Micah, it’s about drawing a line when babies have grown for 20 weeks, when they can feel pain, when they can see their noses, their ears, when we can hear the heartbeats, and we can feel their kicks and at the very least that’s when we can all agree that they should be protected.”

Micah’s mother Danielle described her ordeal with Micah’s extremely premature birth and her horror at late-term abortion.

“My heart is grieved that babies are allowed to be aborted at the same age that my own son was born and even later,” she said. “When Micah was born his eyes were still fused shut, his bones were not hardened yet, he couldn’t breathe on his own. He was medicated to stay comfortable from pain.”

“He was alive and he was fighting and he wanted to live,” she said and concluded by displaying a picture of Micah when he was first born, saying he was no bigger than a pack of M&M’s. She gestured towards her healthy five-year-old boy who was shyly standing amongst the politicians and pro-life leaders.

“Protect the lives of the most innocent people in the wonderful nation that we live in, the pre-born,” she told Congress.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), the bill’s sponsor, said that “it is time that America recognizes and responds to the cries and humanity of these helpless little pain capable babies and the inhumanity of what is being done to them.” He said the bill “calls to all humane Americans to come together for that purpose.”

Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), a nurse, told those gathered that “more and more, we can celebrate the ability we have to save the life of a baby at just 20 weeks after conception – that is truly remarkable.”

“Science tells us that after 20 weeks of pregnancy, babies are able to feel pain inside the womb,” she emphasized. “It is unconscionable that this is a debate we are having here in the United States in 2017.”

She called the bill a “compassionate, commonsense measure” that “protects those who cannot protect themselves when handed a death sentence.”

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said that looking over at Micah he “is the face of the pro-life movement,” because “if not for the tremendous love and heroism of his parents he could’ve been yet another victim of the abortion culture and the culture of denial that drives us as a nation to look askance especially those in very elitist positions in this country.”

“Abortionists all over America decapitate, dismember, and chemically poison babies each and every day,” Rep. Smith emphasized, calling the bill a “modest but necessary attempt to at least protect babies who are 20 weeks old.”

If the bill can make it through the House and Senate, President Trump has already committed to signing it into law in a letter he sent to pro-life leaders on the campaign trail.

View image on Twitter

Town Hall.com

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/laurettabrown/2017/09/26/house-to-vote-on-pain-capable-unborn-child-act-n2386739

Planned Parenthood Dr. Caught Breaking Ban on Partial Birth Abortions: “Laws are Up to Interpretation”

As we post this article, the U.S. Senate is deliberating over a repeal of Obamacare which will defund Planned Parenthood for one year.  NJ’s two U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez shamefully support using our tax dollars to fund this disgraceful organization and appeared with Planned Parenthood militants at a protest just yesterday in Washington, D.C. to advocate on their behalf.
Here in NJ, we have state legislators who continue to criticize Governor Christie for ensuring that no taxpayer money goes to Planned Parenthood. In fact, we now have 5 Republican Assembly members who have vowed to defy the Governor’s actions and force NJ taxpayers to fund Planned Parenthood. View the article here

The entire NJ Legislature is up for election on November 7th.  Please take note of how your State Senator and two Assembly members vote on this issue.  We will post the vote tallies on this website.   Any lawmaker who supports this organization also supports Planned Parenthood’s illegal activity and should be voted out of office.

Planned Parenthood Doctor Caught Breaking Ban on Partial-Birth Abortions: “Laws are Up to Interpretation”

 NATIONAL   STEVEN ERTELT   JUL 27, 2017   |   9:28AM    WASHINGTON, DC
 Lifenews.com

Never-before-released undercover video shows Dr. Suzie Prabhakaran, the Vice President of Medical Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, graphically discussing Planned Parenthood’s late-term “dismemberment” and partial-birth abortion protocols in the context of fetal body part harvesting.

The new video comes as the U.S. Senate is debating provisions to terminate taxpayer subsidies to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s biggest abortion business.

At a Planned Parenthood conference evening reception, Center for Medical Policy investigators posing as buyers from a biotech company discuss partnering with Dr. Prabhakaran’s Planned Parenthood affiliate in order to harvest fetal organs and tissues from the 2nd-trimester abortions performed there. Prabhakaran advises that her affiliate is merging with the Orlando Planned Parenthood, which does abortions up to 23 weeks and has a high procedure volume, with eighteen abortions at 18-weeks and above scheduled for the next week.

Prabhakaran discusses how Planned Parenthood allows their abortion doctors to certify compliance with the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, which prohibits abortions in which a fetus is extracted alive up to certain anatomical landmarks (18 U.S.C. 1531). According to Prabhakaran, Planned Parenthood abortion doctors can certify compliance with the law by using a feticide like digoxin to kill the fetus before the abortion, or they can simply “document” their “intent” to do a “dismemberment” abortion where the fetus is pulled apart with forceps rather than extracted intact.

“So some people train to just document that like, you know to comply with the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, you basically have to say, ‘I intend to utilize dismemberment techniques for this procedure,’” explains Prabhakaran. “So every time you do a procedure, that’s how you document. So, like, there’s like a checkbox,” Prabhakaran states, “so it would be before the procedure, you do your evaluation, you write, ‘I intend to utilize dismemberment techniques for this procedure.’”

Prabhakaran indicates she never uses digoxin to kill the fetus before the abortion, and relies entirely on the “checkbox” to “document” her intent in the abortion to certify compliance with the federal law: “I’m not doing digoxin, and we’re just going to document and there’s never been a problem.”

Prabhakaran’s description of Planned Parenthood’s loose protocols for 2nd-trimester abortion procedures corroborates statements by Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in CMP’s first undercover video, that show a lax attitude toward the partial-birth abortion law:

“The Federal [Partial-Birth] Abortion Ban is a law, and laws are up to interpretation. So there are some people who interpret it as it’s intent. So if I say on Day 1 I do not intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn’t matter.”

Nucatola states in the first video that Planned Parenthood abortion doctors can make changes to the abortion technique in order to bring the fetus out intact for body parts harvesting, regardless of any initial “intent” statement: “So if you do it starting from a breech [feet-first] presentation, there’s dilation that happens as the case goes on, and often, the last step, you can evacuate an intact calvarium [head] at the end.”

CMP project lead David Daleiden notes, “Planned Parenthood medical directors and abortion doctors feign compliance with the federal partial-birth abortion law on paper, knowing full well that ‘what ultimately happens doesn’t matter’ so long as no one is scrutinizing what they actually do to women and children in the operating room. And the fact that Planned Parenthood has a ‘dismemberment’ ‘checkbox’ on their abortion forms should tell the public and policymakers everything they need to know about this barbaric abortion business. The Department of Justice should open an immediate investigation into Planned Parenthood’s late-term abortion practices, and the U.S. Congress must stop forcing taxpayers to subsidize Planned Parenthood’s brutal abortion empire.”

Will these 5 Republican Assembly members force you to use your tax dollars to fund the Planned Parenthood Abortion Business – Take Action Now!

5 Republican Assembly members have vowed to vote Yes on two bills that would use millions of our tax dollars to fund the Planned Parenthood abortion business.  Planned Parenthood is a private, non-profit organization that has the ability to raise their own funds.  But, instead of digging into their own pockets to fund Planned Parenthood, these 5 Republican Assembly members were quoted in the Star Ledger stating that they will vote for two supplemental budget bills that will use OUR hard earned money to fund Planned Parenthood.  Moreover, these same five are pledging to vote to override any gubernatorial veto of the money.  The Speaker has called a Voting Session for July 31st and it’s very likely these bills will be on the Board list.

If you don’t want your tax dollars used to fund Planned Parenthood, please contact the legislators listed below and let them know how you feel NOW! Also contact your two State Assembly members and tell them to Vote No on these bills. Thank you.

These are the bills:

S3302/A4718 – Provides a supplemental appropriation in the 2018 budget of $7.453M to Planned Parenthood for “family planning services” for the 2018 Budget year.

S3248/A32 – Provides funding to Planned Parenthood for “family planning services’ through Medicaid for individuals with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level.

These are the five legislators:

AswRodriguezGregg@njleg.org    609 654 1498

AswMunoz@njleg.org     908 918 0414

AswSchepisi@njleg.org   201 666 0881

AswHandlin@njleg.org, 732 383 7820

AsmChrisABrown@njleg.org, 609 677 8266

Override of PP funding bill fails; Action Still Needed to Oppose Assembly Votes on 2 additional Planned Parenthood funding bills

Update:  The Speaker of the Assembly has scheduled a Voting Session for Monday, July 31st.  Please take the action suggested below immediately!

 

Override of A3492, 2017 supplemental funding bill failed

 The attempt to Override of Governor Christie’s veto of A3492, a 2017 budget supplemental appropriation bill that would have provided $7.453M in taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood  failed on June 29th in the Assembly. As a result, the NJ Senate did not vote on the Override of A3492.  Thank you to all who took action on our Alert!  To see how your two Assembly members voted, click the hyperlink here: A3492 Ac1.pdf Override

Action Still Needed Today!

The Speaker of the Assembly has scheduled a Voting Session on Monday, July 31st.

It is very likely these bills will be on the board list.  Please take Action Immediately!

 Please email and call your legislators even if you have done so previously with the message below.  

S3302/A4718 – Provides a supplemental appropriation of $7.453M to Planned Parenthood for “family planning services” for the 2018 Budget year.

S3248/A32 – Provides funding to Planned Parenthood for “family planning services’ through Medicaid for individuals with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level.

ACTION NEEDED:

Please email and call your two State Assembly members. Please do both: call and email them.  Please make sure you contact your Two Assembly members who represent you at the state level of government in Trenton. Please do this NOW even if you have contacted them previously on this subject.  

Message for Two Assembly Members:  Please Vote No on S3302/A4718 and S3248/A32. I don’t want my tax dollars used to fund Planned Parenthood.  In 2011, one of their “family planning” affiliates in Perth Amboy, NJ  was caught aiding and abetting sex traffickers of minors.  An audit conducted by the Federal Govt in 2007 found that NJ Planned Parenthood family planning clinics were billing medicaid for services that did not qualify as family planning and the state (taxpayers)  had to repay over $2M to the federal govt. for their fraudulent activity.   Moreover, in 2011, the NJ Dept of Health inspected Planned Parenthood of Mercer  County and Planned Parenthood in Shrewsbury and found multiple health and safety violations, including the reusing of vaginal ultrasounds. These are also “family planning” centers.  This is not an organization that cares about women and we should  not be funding them with our tax dollars.  The Federally Qualified Health Centers are meeting the health care needs of NJ women.  I am watching how you vote and will remember how you vote on this matter when I go to the polls on November, 7, 2017.   I am watching how you vote and will remember how you vote on this matter when I go to the polls on November, 7, 2017.

Here is a link to find your two State Assembly members:

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/legsearch.asp  

You can also call the Office of Legislative services:  1-800-792-8630 during regular business hours to obtain the names and contact info for your three legislators.

Also Contact these Legislators

I have also listed below the female Republican legislators who Planned Parenthood are targeting.  Flood their offices with emails and phone calls asap and let them know we expect them to be consistent and continue to vote No on these bills as they all have done in the past and that we are watching! 

AswRodriguezGregg@njleg.org    609 654 1498

AswMunoz@njleg.org     908 918 0414

AswSchepisi@njleg.org   201 666 0881

AswChrisABrown@njleg.org  609 677 8853

AswHandlin@njleg.org, 732 383 7820

View How your Senator Voted on PP funding bills

View  how your Senator voted on S3302, provides $7.453M for family planning services for 2018 budget year.  HERE

View how your Senator voted on S3248,provides  taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood for “family planning services’ through Medicaid for individuals with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level. HERE

Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz Closes in Atlantic City, NJ

Atlantic City Planned Parenthood closes its doors

Triste Brooks, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central and Southern New Jersey, said the organization ended its lease at 2922 Atlantic Ave. near South Morris Avenue because of safety concerns.

“Planned Parenthood’s top priority is the health and safety of our patients, and due to concerns about the safety of the rented facility that housed our health center, we came to the difficult decision to end our lease,” she wrote in a statement.

It was the only Planned Parenthood health center serving the southeastern part of the state. Its Stockton University location in Galloway Township exclusively serves the school.

Atlantic City patients may use Planned Parenthood’s Camden and Bellmawr sites in Camden County. All patient records are being transferred to the Camden facility in the transition.

Brooks said Planned Parenthood will look to add new health centers to the 25 locations it manages in the state.

Services for men and women include birth control, testing, treatment and vaccines for HIV and sexually transmitted infections, abortion services, cervical cancer screenings, breast exams (not mammograms) and testicular and prostate cancer screenings.

Most of Planned Parenthood’s clients are women, low-income populations and people with insufficient insurance, according to reports.

 Contact:

609-272-7022 NLeonard@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressNLeonard