Monday, January 9, 2012
Gingrich: Fed Funds for EOL Chats?
Molly A.K. Connors of the Concord Monitor, reporting on a Newt Gingrich presidential campaign event, heard the director of palliative care at Dartmouth-Hitchcock health care system press the candidate on “death panels.”
Gingrich has praised the end-of-life consultations between his wife's family and doctors at Gundersen-Lutheran Health Center in Wisconsin when his father-in-law died in 2006. But (Dr. Ira) Byock was also under the impression that Gingrich had agreed with Sarah Palin's characterizations of such consultations as "death panels."
"Please tell me that you don't believe that those conversations and advanced care planning in some way represents coercion or death panels," Byock said.
Gingrich said he believes government recommendations based on statistics - such as recommendations that certain prostate cancer screenings be completely bypassed - could jeopardize doctors' abilities to provide individualized care for patients.
"I am willing, happily, to support that and suggest that that should be something supported by Medicare," Gingrich said of advanced care planning, "if it's done in a totally decentralized way, with no bureaucracy in Washington defining the terms."
By Paul McLean at 9:05 PM