In all the hullabaloo regarding H.R. 3200 over the summer, one document that was regarded as an example of how the government would treat end-of-life decisions was the Veterans Affairs’ document Your Life, Your Choices: Planning for Future Medical Decisions.
I had previously written on the LCMS World Relief and Human Care website that this document uses derogatory terms such as “vegetable” when describing a patient. Another problem that I saw was that the document asks the patient to evaluate his life based on what he can or cannot do rather than the inherent value of human life as bestowed upon him by our Creator and through the sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
In H.R. 3200, the advance care planning consultations were mandatory. Enough people made their voices heard and in the current bill in front of the House of Representatives, H.R. 3962, this section has been made voluntary and optional.
But the concerns still remain and the VA’s document is still a good example of what a government document on advance directives and end-of-life decisions would look like. The VA has removed the document from their website and you can no longer obtain it on-line from them. But you can still download it from my blog by clicking here.