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December 2003




MEDICARE VOTE AN IMPORTANT VICTORY IN PRO-LIFE FIGHT AGAINST RATIONING

By Burke J. Balch, J.D., Director,
NRLC's Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics

Pro-life President George W. Bush signs Medicare bill with anti-rationing provisions that largely eliminate price controls on what seniors can spend for health insurance.

After a decade of pro-life efforts to obtain protections against health care rationing in Medicare, on December 8 President George W. Bush signed into law a major bill reforming Medicare and adding prescription drug coverage to the government health insurance program for older Americans.
The final version of the bill incorporated virtually all of the provisions the National Right to Committee had sought.
As reported by the conference committee and then passed by the House and the Senate, the Medicare bill empowers older Americans to avoid involuntary denial of lifesaving treatment by giving them the option, if they wish, of adding their own money on top of the government contribution in order to get health insurance that does not ration lifesaving medical treatment.

UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT'S FIGHT AGAINST HEALTH CARE RATIONING


Joshua Farver and his teacher Susan Perry display the card they made to be sent to Terri Schindler-Schiavo. See back cover.
Photo Credit: Chris Mitchell

Florida Bill Would Protect Terri Schiavo, Others Like Her From Starvation

By NRLC Department of Medical Ethics

Florida State Senator Stephen Wise (R-Jacksonville) has introduced S.B. 692, the Florida "Starvation and Dehydration of Persons with Disabilities Prevention Act." The bill would establish a presumption that those who cannot speak for themselves will be provided nutrition and hydration necessary to sustain their lives unless there is clear and convincing evidence that they gave express and informed consent to its refusal.
An earlier law designed to prevent Terri Schindler-Schiavo's starvation, which gave pro-life Governor Jeb Bush the ability to issue an order specifically to protect her, is being challenged in the Florida courts by her husband. Mr. Schiavo's attorneys claim that "Terri's law" unconstitutionally violates the separation of powers doctrine by specifically overturning a judicial decision in a particular case. Because the Wise bill would apply to all Florida residents incapable of making decisions for themselves, including but not limited to Terri Schindler-Schiavo, it would protect her even if the first "Terri's law" were to be struck down by the courts.



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From the President


Wanda Franz, Ph.D.

IMMORAL DECISION-MAKING

[The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act] brings me back, kicking and screaming, to the subject of abortion. I don't want to write about this. Like most Americans I want the abortion debate to end. I want abortion to be safe and rare. ...
Over the years, I have rejoiced at sonograms and picked names for what we call a baby when it's wanted and a fetus when it isn't.
Behind [the partial-birth abortion ban] is simply a mistrust of women as moral decision-makers.
This should be a wake-up call to all young women, because it's their health at risk, their role as moral decision-makers disparaged.

--Ellen Goodman in the Boston Globe ("Out of the picture on the abortion ban," 11/13/2003)

The rights of children as individuals begin while they remain the foetus.
--Victoria Woodhull, the first female presidential candidate, in Woodhull's and Claffin's Weekly, 12/24/1870

Every woman knows that if she were free, she would never think of murdering a child before its birth.
--Victoria Woodhull in the Evening Standard, Wheeling, West Virginia, 11/17/1875

When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.
--feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton writing to Julia Ward Howe, 10/16/1873, as recorded in Howe's diary at Harvard University Library

Regarding the legality of abortion, 30% of women hold that "abortion should generally be available to those who want it" and 17% say that "abortion should be available but under stricter limits than it is now." But 34% of women say that "abortion should be against the law except in case of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother"; and 17% hold that "abortion should not be permitted at all." That adds up to 68% of women opposing the current abortion-on-demand situation.
--based on "Progress and Perils: How Gender Issues Unite and Divide Women - Part Two," 6/4/2003, Center for the Advancement of Women, an organization headed by former Planned Parenthood president Faye Wattleton


Complete NRL News
2003 Subject Index


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