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A Real Death Panel

The term death panel has received a bad rap in society. It stems from that brilliant thinker Sarah Palin, who claimed that a part of the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 would create a death panel of bureaucrats who would decide if the elderly or children with special needs (such as her son with Down syndrome) would be deemed worthy of medical care.

Palin’s comments were widely debunked, but that didn’t stop opponents of the Affordable Health Care for America Act (derisively called Obamacare), which superseded the Health Choices Act, from using the argument. Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley said the Act would “pull the plug on Grandma.” His comment refers only to the part of the Act that covers end-of-life counseling; still, this death panel concept almost derailed the entire Act.

But I have discovered a positive use of the term. My synagogue is putting on a program called “What Now? Preparing for the Inevitable.” It comprises workshops and discussions by clergy, doctors, social workers, an author and people who work for Jewish cemeteries.

In other words, a panel. 

The topics include Jewish traditions surrounding death and dying.

In other words, a death panel.

I’m looking forward to it.

Until next time! Use the right words!


October 14, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

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