Palliative Care: The Real Story
By Elizabeth Wickham, PhD
Because of the new appointments to the Pontifical Academy for Life, its workshops and conferences in 2017, plus the one planned for winter 2018, my comments here are directed to the low-profile wing of the euthanasia movement known as the Third Path, which relies on the new field of palliative medicine. Today’s palliative care is falsely advertised as the moral alternative to physician-assisted suicide. Having studied this low-profile wing for over 15 years, I believe the activities at the Pontifical Academy for Life are very troubling.
I recommend that you read the important book by David Clark entitled Transforming the Culture of Dying: The Work of the Project on Death in America (PDIA). From cover to cover he tells how Soros funding gave a major impetus to the growth of palliative medicine. Palliative medicine became a certified specialty in record time orchestrated by a PDIA board of nine talented doctors, ethicists, and others. Its purpose was to systematically and fully transform care at end of life. They had “a small window of time,” said Susan Block in an interview with David Clark! (see ft. 40 on p. 15)
Soros put PDIA board member Dr. Kathy Foley in charge of allocating $45 million over nine years to several cohorts of elite physicians and a few nurses located throughout the country. Now that very same leader of the Soros scholars is a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life! It is my guess that she heads the new project PAL-LIFE to make palliative care the official and mandatory standard of EOL care globally! They are working at breakneck speed. After these new June 2017 Pontifical Academy for Life appointments, we too have a “small window of time” to protect those who wish to die a holy death in God’s time.
The book is full of interviews with Foley and other board members. There can be no misunderstanding about the goals of palliative medicine after reading this book. And, by the way, David Clark is on the program at the upcoming Feb/Mar 2018 Pontifical Academy for Life workshop at the Vatican. I suggest reading his book, taking notes, and beginning to ask questions. They are being pretty reckless in their cover-up now. I guess they see that their goals are within reach with the experienced Dr. Foley in charge of combining the resources of the Pontifical Academy for Life with Soros’ financial commitment over the years to legalize the low-profile wing of the euthanasia movement.
Foley has been working toward this transformation since before 1994! From PDIA she went on to work with the World Health Organization. She argues that palliative care is a basic human right, and that means that palliative medicines will be readily available anywhere in the world. Read the WHO list of these essential medicines.
And read what Foley said to the British House of Lords in January 2005 about its proposed physician-assisted suicide bill. She testified that more time is needed to condition people’s thinking about PAS and that the right time for legalization of physician-assisted suicide may be 10, 20, or even 30 years away. (House of Lords – Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill – Minutes of Evidence)
The argument that these people are improving healthcare to extend people’s lives by offering good, traditional healthcare that encourages the finest medical techniques IS JUST NOT TRUE. Rather, palliative care discourages use of specialists and encourages more primary care doctors working with community healthcare workers and community-based organizations.
Palliative care is an interdisciplinary team approach where the doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, physical therapists, nutritionists, etc. are trained in using family dynamics to guide the patient into selecting life-limiting goals. The team is trained, not in traditional medical care, but in persuasion techniques. If the patient chooses to receive the best of technical care as long as possible, the palliative care team fails. But they will return to the patient over and over seeking to convince him or his family that traditional medical treatment is outweighed by burdens. This is where the cultural virus of proportionalism comes in. (Read Bishop Gracida’s talk given in Raleigh a couple of years ago.)
Part of their medical treatment is biopsychosocial-spiritual. It begins with a spiritual assessment of the patient. The person who helped develop the tools to take a spiritual history and assess how to incorporate a measure of spirituality into the patient’s electronic health records is another Soros PDIA grant recipient and member of the new Pontifical Academy for Life, Dr. Daniel Sulmasy. He moderated Foley’s presentation at the Oct. 2017 Pontifical Academy for Life meetings and is a former Franciscan brother now married to Lois Snyder Sulmasy. She too is knee deep in this euthanasia movement.
Finally, their policy/grassroots mega organization is called C-TAC or Coalition to Transform Advance Care. C-TAC is determined to break down all barriers to ensuring that every patient has expressed his goals of care in the form of an advanced directive. Read about Respecting Choices in LaCrosse, WI, that trains facilitators to help patients fill out the POLST form. Respecting Choices is now part of C-TAC.
Woe if it be a healthcare power of attorney that asks for medical treatment to preserve and protect life as God would choose! Spend some time reading about how the Coalition to Transform Advance Care is organized and what legislation it is promoting. The coalition wants all barriers to palliative care to fall!
You should be prepared for pressure to see the language in your Health Care Power of Attorney early on. The Third Path seeks to target those with multiple chronic conditions. It does not want palliative care limited to those who are truly near death. I know of someone who was asked to see the language in his HCPOA several times after ordinary knee replacement surgery.
Dr. Elizabeth Wickham is president and founder of LifeTree, located in North Carolina.