Seniors Spooked by 'Kill Granny' Health Bill Campaign

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2009 7:56 AM CDT
Seniors Spooked by 'Kill Granny' Health Bill Campaign
Opponents of health care reform have seized upon a proposal to offer paid-for counseling to elderly patients on what medical interventions they would prefer near the end of life    (Shutter Stock)

Conservative radio hosts are scaring America's seniors with a campaign against an end-of-life counseling proposal in the health care reform bill, the Washington Post reports. Under the proposal doctors would be reimbursed for consulting with elderly patients about what medical interventions they would prefer as the end nears, but opponents portray it as a step towards mandatory euthanasia, even labeling it the "kill Granny" clause.

The counseling sessions, which would include instructions on how to prepare living wills, would be strictly voluntary. Still, AARP has had thousands of calls in recent weeks from seniors fearing that every Medicare recipient will be forced to "choose how they want to die," a spokesman for the organization says. Efforts to misrepresent the bill are "just plain cruel to anyone who is forced to make one of these difficult decisions at the end of life," he added.  (Read more end of life care stories.)

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