(PRWEB) January 18, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Ron Panzer, President
Hospice Patients Alliance, Inc.
Angels of Death Flourish In Hospice - Four Families Report.
Hospice Advocacy Group Initiates Letter Writing Campaign
GRAND RAPIDS, MI - January 8, 2001 -
The Hospice Patients Alliance has received credible reports about
patients being killed in the hospice setting. Four families have come
forward to publicly protest the untimely death of their loved ones and
seek government intervention to save patients' lives. These patients and
their families expected to receive compassionate care promoting a death
with dignity. Instead, they report that the "Angels of Death" hastened
the death of their loved ones Research summarized in medical journals
(see below) suggests that many hundreds and possibly thousands of
patients in the U.S. may be euthanized without their permission.
One common method of hospice style euthanasia is to sedate the
patient into a medically-induced coma and then either shut down the
breathing through the over-administration of a narcotic like morphine or
let the patient die of dehydration while in the prolonged coma (known as
"terminal sedation"). A second method is to withhold needed care to
treat an infection, letting the patient die of massive systemic
infection. A decision to sedate and overdose is a decision to kill. A
decision not to treat is a decision to create a situation in which the
patient will die sooner than expected from a terminal illness.
When patients receive a terminal diagnosis, physicians often
recommend hospice care as a way of assuring a "death with dignity."
However, patients cannot be sure whether they will be cared for or
hastened to an untimely death. The resistance of some patients to be
placed in hospice is in many cases due to their gut intuition that they
may be euthanized rather than cared for ... and they would be correct in
some hospice settings.
The US Office of Inspector General and state enforcement agencies
confirm that chronically ill patients are sometimes fraudulently
enrolled in hospices. In some cases, these chronically ill patients may
be terminated after they have served as revenue sources for the
While major hospice lobbying groups and agency organizations
publicly deny that there are major problems in the industry, the Hospice
Patients Alliance continues to receive complaints from the public about
abominable hospice care. Privately, physicians and hospice staff may be
aware of the problems, but assure the public that such problems "are
Nationwide Letter-Writing Campaign Begun
Hospice Patients Alliance has initiated a nationwide letter writing
campaign to protest involuntary euthanasias and to encourage prosecution
of those who terminate the life of a vulnerable patient. Involuntary
euthanasia is the medical killing of a patient without the patient's
permission and in some cases without the patient's knowledge. Medical
killing of patients is illegal in every state, however prosecutors have
shied away from bringing charges when the killing occurs in a hospice
setting. If prosecutors do not act for crimes committed in hospice
settings, then hospice may become the "killing field" where unwanted
chronically ill can be terminated or where criminals may have a license
to kill (with no consequences). Some of the families have reported that
their loved one's medical records were falsified by the hospices.
This campaign is not about physician-assisted suicide which would
involve terminating a patient's life at the patients request. This is
about the obviously illegal killing of patients against their will, ...
patients who in some cases begged to be allowed to live and not be
The letter writing campaign will begin on January 25th after the the
new U.S. administration is in place. The goal is to reform the health
care system to stop such medical killings from occurring and especially
to improve hospice care for all. Information about the letter writing
campaign along with suggested addresses is found at
District Attorneys in California, southern Georgia and Maryland
Hospice Patients Alliance is carefully monitoring developments
involving the four bereaved families that have approached local district
attorneys for a fair and impartial investigation of the alleged medical
killings of their loved ones. In Santa Ana and Los Angeles counties in
California, Wayne County in Southern Georgia, and Anne Arundel County in
Maryland, families report that local District Attorneys have not yet
charged anyone in the alleged killing of their loved ones ... even
though in some cases, many months have passed by with no action by the
DAs. Whether political "strings" will be pulled by the hospices to block
police from doing a full and impartial investigation in these cases
remains to be seen.
The Hospice Patients Alliance, Inc. is a non-profit charitable
organization offering information and assistance to hospice patients,
families and caregivers nationwide. For more information, visit Hospice
Patients Alliance or call  866-9127.