Palliative Leaders Want Electronic Health Records to Collect and Record Personal Data on Goals and Core Values

Elizabeth Wickham
Executive Director, LifeTree
PO Box 17301
Raleigh, NC, 27619
Reproduced with Permission

Feast of the Queenship of Our Blessed Mother, 2013

Dear all,

What data will be on your electronic health care records (EHRs) in the future? Your visits to the doctor? Diagnosis of your ailments? Your medications? Think again. Changes are coming to the "standard" content of EHRs, thanks to the "third path" euthanasia movement. Palliative care leaders want to digitalize family history, the actual content of your advance directive or POLST form, superfluous care transitions, your functional status, caregiving potential, identity of surrogate (if one) and when designated, etc, etc. Most importantly, they want to record your goals of care and discover your core values. They have developed a series of boxes to check during goals of care discussions which will allow your treatment to be centered around QUALITY measures individually tailored to each patient. Although this may sound benign it is actually pretty scary.

The Health Information Technology Policy Committee (HITPC) is in the process of developing "meaningful use" standards for Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Bishop Gracida sent out this Belbury Review ( blog below a few weeks ago suggesting that the changes coming to "standard" measures in electronic health records will help promote euthanasia.

The article gives two very important links to palliative care input which is going into these EHR revisions.

1) Comments made to the HITPC by Joanne Lynn of The Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness at Altarum Institute (Go here). Lynn wants EHRs to become less backward-looking and more forward-looking. She goes on, "In short, the next phase of meaningful use needs to begin to build the future into the medical record." What does she mean? Is this about hastening death?

2) The Belbury Review post also links to a letter written by the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care to the Committee (HITPC) on January 14, 2012 which was signed by the President of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, the Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care, the Chief Executive Officer of Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association and the Director of National Palliative Care Research Center. You can read the letter here (or here). This letter explains in detail how goals of care discussions are to be utilized in Electronic Health Records and become important levers in the re-engineering of healthcare.

Understand that palliative professionals are trained to steer the patient and patient's family to choose goals that limit medical treatment. In their hands, Electronic Heath Records are destined to become just one more tool of the "third path" euthanasia movement.

Prayers to the Holy Spirit, to St. Joseph and to Our Blessed Mother,

Elizabeth (Betty) D. Wickham, PhD
Executive Director, LifeTree
PO Box 17301
Raleigh, NC, 27619

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