California continues to micromanage elderly and end-of-life issues
While standing with the prayer group in front of Concord Planned Parenthood in California, a young woman obviously looking for the abortion entrance, was told by one of the employees to go around to the back. Her parting words to this young woman were: “Good Luck.”
As I continued to stand there I noticed a sign on a metal pole in the ground on the Planned Parenthood property. It was a city ordinance sign which read: No Smoking.
The horrible incongruity of it all really struck me. The city is quite willing to develop programs and laws to insist that people stop harming themselves by smoking, but they support this center’s killing of babies.
The elected officials of California make big pronouncements about increasing access to jobs and better educational opportunities while, at the same time, their legislation suppresses jobs through rigid and expensive demands, especially upon the private industry. Their educational policies are dumbing down the human intelligence and creating a world of mindless unquestioning servants of society.
We cherish Mothers and Fathers with expensive gifts on “their” Day while bills abound in Sacramento calling for more death and dying access to Mom and Dad to sign up for Palliative care only and to move out of their long time homes and enter retirement centers because they are taking up space.
In the two year term just drawing to a close, there have been 150 plus bills submitted in the California Legislature in the category of Health Care-End-of Life focusing on the elderly, the disabled and even the young adults and youth with potential life shortening illnesses.
About 45 are either sitting on the Governor’s desk or have been signed. Sixteen have been signed so far. Many of these bills are attempts at micro-managing this growing industry - warehousing senior citizens. The social media folks cry out that there is a growing need to care for the aging baby boomers while at the same time diminishing the potential channels for caring for this cohort by placing large financial burdens on the private residential care sector or on even families caring for their aging or disabled members. I have heard that even individuals taking care of their aging or ill parent may be required to register, conform to regulations, receive vacation time and so on.
Senior Citizens are now the latest group to be targeted as consumers of services. But these services must only be provided by properly trained and educated members of the SEIU union who will see that these service workers receive the salary due them. This results in pushing seniors into large, professionally developed for-profit government approved sanitized facilities which, by the way, all will require training in providing the seniors with Do Not Resuscitate or POLST forms along with palliative care only incentives.
See SB 911 by Marty Block, D, Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly - RCFE: Employee Training. (On Senate Floor), along with companion bills, AB 1523, Asm Toni Adkins, D, Liability Insurance (signed by the Governor) and AB 1571, Asm Susan Eggman, RCFE: Licensing. Eggman, especially is an aggressive advocate of palliative care and promoter of the POLST form. Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment. (notice the coincidence, so-called, of numbering an end-of-life bill with the number 911?)
Also Wes Chesbro’s bill, AB1570, Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, This one requires 40 hours of unspecified training for employees. The concern here is that the training will be focused on turning elder care employees into palliative care salesmen. This goes along with the item above talking about creating a new POLST form to make it less confusing to the signer. (On Senate Floor)
By the Way, the Compassion and Caring, i.e., death and dying, folks have announced that they will be coming out with a new POLST form early in 2015. They claim a need to clarify some items in their form and make it easier to sign. I guess they have suddenly realized that the Common Core education lobby has so dumbed down the people that they can’t figure out a simple form anymore.
Another Susan Eggman bill, AB 1572, mandates establishment of residential Councils in the RCFEs and other facilities. RCFEs currently have resident councils, but the bureaucrats are not included and the items to be discussed, currently, are easily handled between the residents and the employees. This bill brings the state into the councils and limits what can be discussed. This will eventually discourage open and easy discussions and settlement of problems causing the councils to be abandoned, thereby silencing the residents. In Senate Appropriations Committee
AB 1621, Bonnie Lowenthal,D, Emergency Medical Services: Data and Information System. Would mandate that all “pre-emergency patient data” be collected and centralized for the entire state. The wording of this bill is very generalized and vague blurring the real intent which is a centralized registry of everyone who has signed end of life medical directives or organ donation cards. If a call is received concerning a person who has signed a DNR or POLST, the emergency service people do not need to rush to the call because signing those forms means that the person, if unconscious will not be resuscitated. (Held in Senate Appropriations)
See also AB 2399 by John Perez, D, Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. Authorizes an organ procurement agency to swipe a driver’s license to learn of patient”s status as an organ donor.
Even ambulance services are of two minds on this. One side claims it will be a help in planning ways to be of assistance in emergency cases, the other side says that it will be too expensive for many counties.
State Assemblyman Dan Logue,R, had submitted a bill which would have provided protection from job loss for any employee who called 911 if the call involved a patient who had signed one of those forms. It never got out of its house of origin.
Another Eggman bill, AB 2139, Patient Notification, is awaiting a final vote on the Senate floor. This bill will mandate that the doctor or medical personnel serving any patient receiving a diagnosis of a terminal illness, will be required to instruct the patient at the visit informing the patient of the diagnosis on all the types of care (including palliative only) and the forms necessary to apply for that care. (On Senate Floor).
The truly sad thing about all these bills is the misplaced sense of compassion. Care facilities and Board and Care private homes and family members who take in their elderly or disabled members are to be admired as much as those who take in crack babies, abandoned or disabled babies. etc. They are doing good and virtuous work for humanity.
Once the Government gets its hands on these good ideas, they become exploited to benefit others; expanded job market, mandated salaries and training, non-profit promotion of private agendas, micro-managing from afar, What’s good for one is good for everybody etc, etc. Then suddenly the very people who needed the help become the impediment to the community’s health, productivity. People who want to be independent are suddenly obstructionists, non conformists, burdens.
All these bills can be viewed at www.leginfo.ca.gov. The 2014 segment of the two year, 2013-14 term will close as of August 31. After that all the bills that pass the final floor vote go to the Governor for his signature or veto.
If it is a Senate bill-SB, then it is awaiting a final vote in the Assembly (second house), so call your Assembly member. And, if it is an Assembly bill-AB then it will be on the senate floor. After August 31st, call the Governor’s office. Urge a Veto.
Spero columnist Camille Giglio is a freelance writer who resides in California.
AB 2044, Rodriguez, Residential Care Facilities. Employee Staffing. Round-the-clock, 24 hour staffing of administrator, facility manager or designated substitute who is at least 21 years of age. ( 8/22/2014 to Senate Floor).
SB 1004, Ed. Hernandez, D, Health Care: Palliative Care is a bill mandating the inclusion of Hospice or palliative care reimbursements in MediCare, including MediCal in California to persons under 21 years of age. Supporters are Alliance of Catholic health Care, Ca. Hospice and Palliative care Assn, builds on SB 1745 requiring a pediatric palliative care benefit coverage under Medi-Cal. In Assembly, Third reading.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, not of Spero News.
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