I can't help asking the nagging questions that some continually push away. When not-so-subtle or even blatant pressures are applied to certain categories of individuals in order to "facilitate" their death, is our society becoming more like the Nazi Third Reich than the land of the free? When patients are kept alive for the express purpose of having them eventually killed, is our society becoming more like the Nazi Third Reich? We are not targeting ethnic groups for extermination, but our society is targeting the elderly, severely disabled and chronically ill.
A 2001 Congressional Report, "Abuse of Residents Is a Major Problem in U.S. Nursing Homes" confirms that even one third of all nursing homes are cited for neglect and abuse of nursing home residents. "The third most common abuse violation was the failure to protect residents from sexual, physical, or verbal abuse, corporal punishment, or involuntary seclusion ... almost 20% of all homes cited for an abuse violation -- were cited for this violation."
And a 2000 U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services report is summarized by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging: "We're talking about people dying of dehydration because they don't get water into their system, malnutrition because they don't get enough food, and ... bed sores because they don't get turned enough," said
How is it that in this modern, compassionate society, with the "very best" in health care available, we have people dying of dehydration, dying of malnutrition because they don't get enough food and bed sores because they are not being turned enough. These are the most basic of care needs and our society is not doing a very good job in the nursing homes that care for the vulnerable, dependent citizens of our country.
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