Marlowe's Shade

Thursday, May 05, 2005

How the RWJF Came to Bankroll the Right-to-Die Movement: Part 1

The Robert Woods Johnson Foundation's founder sounds like a pretty decent fellow. We may never know the story of how all this money left by a military man and capitalist came to be controlled by such a liberal agenda. But in this report from the Foundation on its "end of life" programs, we can find some clues to the motivation of their joint venture with George Soros

In his introduction author and writer for NYT Ethan Bronner states:

During the 1980s and the early 1990s, Americans began to be concerned about the long period of suffering many people endured before they died. States passed laws allowing people to sign a living will, durable power of attorney, or health care proxy. Courts wrestled with issues of whether to authorize treatments that would prolong life but not restore its quality. The hospice movement became widely recognized, and hospice services were covered by Medicare. At the same time, prestigious physicians discussed, in the pages of respected medical journals, the idea that physicians should be allowed to help terminally ill patients die; Dr. Jack Kevorkian was helping people who wanted to die do so; and the Hemlock Society’s book, Final Exit, which told readers how to commit suicide, became a best seller.

Despite the key justification of the program being a perceived phenomenon of elders dying in agony as doctors insisted on keeping them alive, the inherent disingenuous of the right-to-die movement is apparent in the contrast between the focus on pallitive care that is presented as the main concern of this initiative, and the more extreme agendas of Kevorkian and the Hemlock Society. Also Hastings Center thought-leaders like Daniel Callahan were very much involved. As we've seen before, the issue of pallitive care is the camel's nose in the tent. Be assured that physician assisted suicide and euthanasia are queued up right behind it.

Here is another way to look at it: Given that for a period of time after WWII the medical profession may very well have been over-zealous in the application of new life-extending technology. Simply honoring the request of a patient that no extraordinary measures be taken is a simple enough solution that seems to be a win for everyone. So why was it necessary to spend millions over the course of decades to achieve this commonsense consensus?

Based on the history of this initiative to impose new values regarding death I think there is not only a hidden agenda which has been fairly easy to expose, but also a hidden motive. I'll make this the subject of my next post
papijoe 6:34 AM