FDA Ethicists Undisclosed Conflicts Of Interest in Prenatal Dex Case

by Alice Dreger and Ellen K. Feder


[A 2014 article that details the questionable practices of modern medicine which both involves fraud and an overt application of eugenics rather than health care.  It is offered as a public service information source along with the caveat to beware of scientific studies which are usually wrong. . [Emphasis - DNI] - ED]

Newly available documents show conflicts of interest for the FDA ethicist who investigated a fetal drug experiment.  

Pediatric endocrinologist Maria New, now at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, is an internationally-recognized specialist in congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a genetic condition that can cause female fetuses to develop intersex (in-between male and female) genitals. For over a decade, Dr. New has encouraged pregnant women at risk of having a child with congenital adrenal hyperplasia to take the steroid dexamethasone starting as early as 3 weeks of pregnancy to try to prevent intersex development.

Dr. New has consistently described this extremely controversial off-label (i.e., not government-approved) use as safe and effective. In truth, there has never been a placebo-controlled trial of this use, and the only long-term prospective trial ever conducted resulted in so many “severe” adverse events that, in 2010, that study’s research team (a Swedish group) went to their ethics board to say they were halting the use altogether.

Dr. New’s aggressive “safe and effective” promotion of this fetal intervention—an intervention designed to cross the placenta and change fetal development—would be shocking enough. But we were shaken in late 2009 when we discovered that, even while she was direct-to-consumer advertising the intervention as having been “found safe for mother and child,” she was taking NIH grant money to study retrospectively whether it was safe and effective.

 In February of 2010, we along with thirty colleagues in bioethics and allied fields sent letters of concern to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) asking them to investigate the actions of Dr. New. At the FDA, the investigation was assigned to Robert “Skip” Nelson, a pediatric ethicist. Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request suggest that Nelson proposed to OHRP that he handle the main part of the prenatal dexamethasone investigation for that agency as well. Ultimately the OHRP findings relied largely on a memo provided to them by Nelson as an FDA official.

While the federal investigation was ongoing, in May of 2010 the American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB) circulated a manuscript (in advance of publication, inviting open peer commentaries) attacking our letters of concern, saying they represented an instance of “unethical transgressive bioethics.”

At the time, we were not aware of conflicts of interest in the federal investigation or the AJOB article, because none were disclosed. Here is what we now know, including from material obtained just this week through the Freedom of Information Act:

First, neither the original AJOB manuscript (May 2010) nor the final published article (September 2010) included a conflict of interest statement from the authors. The lead author, Larry McCullough, failed to disclose that he held paid positions with the two medical schools implicated in the investigation (Mount Sinai and Cornell). The second author, Frank Chervenak, failed specifically to disclose that he was (and still is) Chair of Obstetrics and head of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine unit at the medical school where New “treated” over 600 pregnancies with prenatal dex.  Chervenak also failed to disclose that he served as “key personnel” on New’s NIH grant.

Responses to our Freedom of Information requests show that Larry McCullough gave the AJOB original manuscript to the federal investigators at OHRP prior to publication, in an attempt to undermine the claims in our complaints. No conflict of interest disclosures were attached to the manuscript. This suggests that OHRP personnel would have seen the McCullough and Chervenak criticisms of our request for an investigation, but would not have known of the authors’ conflicts of interest.

Second, it appears that Nelson did not disclose to his FDA or OHRP colleagues that he was a member of the editorial board of AJOB – the journal in which the criticisms were published. One might feel less concerned about this particular undisclosed conflict were it not for the fact that, like the AJOB target article, Nelson’s official FDA findings on prenatal dex misrepresented key facts, including whether the FDA had previously reviewed New’s use of this steroid on first-trimester fetuses.

Third, this week we have obtained additional material through our Freedom of Information request showing that Nelson was, in fact, developing an even deeper relationship with AJOB while he was conducting the prenatal dex investigation. At the very time Nelson was investigating our complaints, he was also negotiating to become editor-in-chief of a new AJOB journal, AJOB Primary Research (since renamed AJOB Empirical Bioethics).

A May 2010 email conversation between Nelson and others at the FDA shows that Nelson was to be compensated by AJOB not only with the editor-in-chief title, but also with $10,000 per year, for editorial assistance. In the email conversation about the new position with AJOB, Nelson never disclosed that the journal was being used to aggressively (dare we say “transgressively”?) undermine complaints he was investigating.

Curiously, Nelson’s FDA memo and the associated OHRP findings on prenatal dex were released on virtually the same day in September 2010 that AJOB published the McCullough and Chervenak “target article” and responses to it. The timing of this “coincidence” was openly celebrated by Glenn McGee, then editor-in-chief of AJOB: “With the release of the September issue of the Journal, both the FDA and OHRP have released letters responding to the complaints that are the subject of the Target Article…”

What might once have been thought fortuitous timing must now be examined through the lens of conflicts of interest, as we now know that, by September 2010, Nelson was working in titled and compensated positions for both the FDA and AJOB.

Fourth, in December 2010, AJOB published a “vindication” by Dr. New that consisted mostly of a long quote from Nelson’s FDA response to our letter. Consistent with the established pattern of non-disclosure, nowhere in conjunction with New’s “vindication” does one find disclosure of Nelson’s dual role as FDA investigator and key member of the AJOB editorial team.

We have repeatedly appealed to the editorial board of AJOB to add disclosures to all the dex-related publications. That has gotten us nowhere, except to force disclosure of who is on the AJOB conflict-of-interest committee. The committee includes Larry McCullough, specifically representing AJOB Empirical Bioethics, the journal given to Skip Nelson.






Alice Dreger and Ellen K. Feder 

Alice Dreger, PhD, is Professor of Clinical Medical Humanities and Bioethics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. @alicedreger

Ellen K. Feder is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at American University, and author of Making Sense of Intersex: Changing Ethical Perspectives in Biomedicine, just issued by Indiana University Press.


[Note:  Might wander through the typical profiles of the “bioethicists” identified in the following article: The article originally appeared here 

Larry McCullough, one of the founders of “bioethics”, pop control, research using children, pro-human embryonic stem cell research, etc.:  https://www.google.com/#q=%22Larry+McCullough%22+%22bioethics%22

Frank Chervenak, M.D., ObGyn specialist in maternal and fetal medicine, pro-abortion and woman’s rights, anti-personhood for the unborn, pro-euthanasia, etc.: https://www.google.com/#q=%22Frank+Chervenak%22+%22bioethics%22+%22controversy%22

Glenn McGee, partner with bioethics founder Art Caplan, pro-“designer babies” and human cloning, implicated in conflict of interest in the Celltex corruption case, etc.:  https://www.google.com/#q=%22Glenn+McGee%22+%22bioethics%22

Skip Nelson, Senior Pediatric Ethicist at FDA, promotes research using children, etc.:  https://www.google.com/#q=%22Skip+Nelson%22+%22bioethics%22&start=10

See also “Charges of editorial misconduct at American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB), at: 

http://www.healthnewsreview.org/2011/06/charges-of-editorial-misconduct-at-american-journal-of-bioethics/.

For an extensive analysis and critique of “bioethics”, with extensive references, see my article, "What is 'bioethics'?" (June 3, 2000), UFL Proceedings of the Conference 2000, in Joseph W. Koterski (ed.), Life and Learning X:  Proceedings of the Tenth University Faculty For Life Conference (Washington, D.C.:  University Faculty For Life, 2002), pp. 1-84, at:

http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/irv/irv_36whatisbioethics01.html.  As a First Generationer in this “bioethics”, I hold one of the few Ph.D. concentrations in bioethics the field from the KIE and Dept. of Philosophy, Georgetown University (1991).

--  DNI]




Welcome to the Dark Age of Designer Babies

by Carly Andrews


[A sobering 2014 article on alteration of the human gene pool which will have unknown consequences for the human race.  Once invoked, how can this be undone? Is this really what we want genetic science to be? ED]


As FDA holds hearing on new controversial fertility technique, Aleteia expert insists it’s a moral no-go.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is holding a hearing this week in the US to consider a controversial new IFV technology that would involve the creation of test-tube babies, using the DNA from 3 separate people.  The procedure aims at preventing potentially fatal mitochondrial diseases. [emphasis - DNI]
 
Troublesome cells

Mitochondria are organelles (or tiny power stations) found in every cell of the body except for red blood cells, generating energy for the cell. They are passed from mother to child through her egg.
 
There are around 5,000 children in the US suffering from the illness.  Mitochondrial diseases are often caused by mutations – inherited or acquired – in mitochondrial DNA.  The effects can include cerebral developmental delays, muscle weakness, seizures, strokes, dementia, diabetes, blindness, deafness, short stature, respiratory problems and in the worst cases, death.
 
This latest IVF research has discovered that exchanging the defective mitochondria of the parent egg/embryo with mitochondria from a healthy donor egg/embryo, avoids passing on the disease to the infant. 
 
There are two different methods for mitochondrial repair:
 
First – intervention by embryo: 
1. The sperm fertilises two eggs; one embryo is created using the egg of the parent, and another with the egg of the donor. 
2. The nucleus (containing the genetic information) from the donor embryo is removed and destroyed.
3. The nucleus from the parent embryo (which has the unhealthy mitochondria) are removed and the remains destroyed.
4. The parents’ nucleus is inserted into the donor embryo to create a healthy embryo.
 
Second - intervention by egg:
1. A healthy donor egg and the mother’s egg with defective mitochondria are collected. 
2. The donor’s nucleus (containing most of the genetic information) is removed and destroyed.
3. The nucleus from the mother’s egg is removed and the remains destroyed. 
4. The mother's nucleus is inserted into the donor’s healthy egg, and it may now be fertilised by sperm.

The consequences of either of the above procedures mean that the child would have around 20,000 genes from their parents and about 37 mitochondrial genes from a third-party donor. The genetic inheritance of the infant would be irreversibly moderated. 
 
Moral dilemma
 
Antonio G. Spagnolo, Director of the Institute of Bioethics, Faculty of Medicine, at the Università Cattolica del S. Cuore, Rome, has spoken to Aleteia about the moral implications of this highly controversial procedure. 
 
“Undoubtedly the efforts of the researchers in attempting to eliminate pathologies of this type are commendable” he says. “Unfortunately the manner in which they proceed to resolve illnesses is very problematic and numerous moral questions must be confronted."
 
“First of all, at the heart of the matter is the unavoidable problem - which is morally negative in itself - of IVF which is what actually enables the realisation of this new procedure.”
 
The Church is very clear on the moral depravity of IVF practices, in which many human embryos are experimented on and disposed of.
 
“Respect for the dignity of the human being excludes all experimental manipulation or exploitation of the human embryo." [Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith]
 
Besides the many risks involved for both the mother and infant, the big moral problem is that the human embryo is treated as mere disposable biological material, instead of a human person.

The Church explains that the human person is a unified whole, which is “at the same time corporal and spiritual. By virtue of its substantial union with a spiritual soul, the human body cannot be considered as a mere complex of tissues, organs and functions...” 
 
Therefore “the fruit of human generation, from the first moment of its existence...from the moment the zygote has formed, demands the unconditional respect that is morally due to the human being in his bodily and spiritual totality.”
 
If the human embryo must be treated as a human person, then it is “not in conformity with the moral law deliberately to expose to death human embryos obtained 'in vitro'.”
 
But then, wouldn’t the second form of IVF be morally permissible, since it only modifies the egg and not the embryo? 

Professor Spagnolo answers that “the procedure cannot be morally permissible.”
 
Consequences unknown
 
Firstly, in addition to the foundational problem of IVF in itself being morally wrong, Spagnolo emphasises the problem of consequences.
 
“Even for those who retain that in vitro fertilisation does not have any moral problems” he explains that “they still could not help but recognise that this new procedure is, in itself, loaded with unknown elements with regards to its results."
 
Indeed there is no way to tell, from supposed initial ‘success’ in experimentation, what the long-ranging consequences of this procedure could be for the child and what physiological or psychological problems it may cause further down the line. 
 
Gene therapy
 
Secondly, Professor Spagnolo considers the risks involved with understanding the procedure in terms of “gene therapy.” 
 
He explains that the scientific community has “always considered gene therapy on germ cells in the negative sense.” 
 
The practice “deals with inserting correct genes into a germ cell before IVF” he says. “Germ gene therapy is loaded with risks since any possible harm transmitted would be done not only to the embryo in question, but also to the descendants of the embryo.”
 
Here Spagnolo brings our attention once again to the teachings of the Church. 
 
“The Catholic Magisterium reminds us: ‘because the risks connected to any genetic manipulation are considerable and as yet not fully controllable, in the present state of research, it is not morally permissible to act in a way that may cause possible harm to the resulting progeny. ...For these reasons, therefore, it must be stated that, in its current state, germ line cell therapy in all its forms is morally illicit.’” [Dignitas Personae, 26]
 
So basically, 3-person IFV treatment is a moral no-go.

"It is not enough merely to discipline by law the ways in which it is brought about" Spagnolo asserts, "since its fundamental meaning remains the same."



[Note:  Better analysis than most.  Yes, both the end/goal and the means used to reach it must be ethical.  The ends do not justify the means.

(1)  He identifies one of the major scientific consequences that seems the media wants to ignore:  the genetic engineering does not just affect the child born, but because those “foreign” genes become integrated into her germ cells (female oocytes) then those foreign genes will ALSO be passed down through the child’s future generations -- genetically altering not just the child’s genome but all her descendants and the human gene pool as well.  Thus not just one child’s problems are the issue, but also the cloning of those foreign genes down through the generations. 

(2)  I might also add that the fact that mitochondria have fewer genes than the nucleus does not therefore mean that they are “incidental” -- as demonstrated by the various mitochondrial diseases themselves. 

(3)  Approving this research -- much less clinical trials with human patients -- would thereby also approve killing the normal living human embryos used as the source of the healthy mitochondria.

(4)  How can patients in clinical trials give ethically or legally valid “informed consent” when the researchers don’t know the critical “information” they need to inform their patients -- e.g., the scientific facts, the risks and benefits, etc.?

(5)  Scientifically they don’t have a clue as to what genes are causing the problems in mitochondrial diseases.  (a)  As there are many different kinds of mitochondrial diseases, there are probably many different genetic mutations causing them.  (b)  By what genetic criteria will they determine the guilty genes when scientists still don’t know any more that 50% or less of the coding of THE Human Genome Project (which used only nuclear genes, and derived them from samples from people around the world and pooled them all together!).  Answer:  They don’t know, and can’t know.  Thus they are incapable of anticipating any dangerous consequences to the child or her descendants -- or explaining them scientifically.

(6)  A lot of research by many different scientists have shown that the normal “communication” between the nuclear genes and the mitochondrial genes is badly damaged when “foreign” mitochondrial genes are substituted for the natural mitochondrial genes -- and that causes serious damage to the organism.

(7)  And what appears to be a “beneficent” technique can also be used for maleficent purposes as well.  What if they use the same technique to inject non-human animal mitochondrial thus forming a chimera?  Or inject foreign genes desired by researchers into the donor mitochondria before injecting them into the human oocyte/embryo?  Same technique, different foreign genes.  Opens the door to all sorts of genetic engineering of human beings and their descendents.

(8)  My only pause was when he used the term “zygote”.  According to the Carnegie Stages of Early Human Embryonic Development (instituted in 1942 and updated continuously since then to the present), the formation of the human “zygote” is not when the new human being begins to exist.  The “zygote” is Stage 1c;  the embryo already exists before that point at Stages 1a and 1b.  That is, the new sexually reproduced human being begins to exist at the beginning of the process of fertilization, when the sperm penetrates and fuses with the oocyte -- not at the end of the process.  If the “zygote” is claimed to be when the human being begins to exist, that would justify using (and killing) the already existing embryo at Stages 1a and b -- which is when a great deal of human genetic engineering is performed!  Well, at least he didn’t say “conception”. The article first appeared here.  -- DNI




The Perfect 46: A “Science Factual” Film about our Near Future

by Jessica Cussins

 

Sitting down to watch the science fiction film The Perfect 46, I had the strange sensation of walking through a hall of mirrors. Intriguingly meta-conscious, and perceptibly close to reality, this film highlights the world of direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetics and makes it clear that this technology, now at our real-world doorsteps, could drastically shape our very near future.  [Emphasis - DNI]

The story centers on the aptly named company ThePerfect46, which starts off with a seemingly innocuous mission. Taking advantage of the fact that most Californians have had their genomes sequenced by this undefined point in time, it simply offers to analyze a couple’s genomes alongside each other to determine their ability to have a disease-free child.  

But founder and CEO Jesse Darden isn’t content to stop there. In a move that sparks internal controversy and leads to one staff person abandoning the project, he rolls out version 2.0, which allows the company to search through giant databases and match random people together based solely on their ability to create genetically “ideal” children. The film cuts back and forth between a tense situation unfolding for Darden, flashbacks of his life, and a documentary film made about his rise and fall. 

While The Perfect 46 is a fictional film, it is being promoted by a real-life website purporting to actually sell ThePerfect46 product (kudos for the smart marketing ploy!). 

Darden, played quite well by Whit Hertford, is the star of The Perfect 46. He is a Steve Jobs-esque anti-hero: the disliked techie genius, the man behind the company that aims to improve humanity but ends up causing great harm. Darden comes across as “a tortured genius… a character that can be lauded and loathed in equal measure.” He is romanticized as smart and entrepreneurial, but his considerable personal and inter-personal flaws are never out of view. 

Perhaps by now both Darden and ThePerfect46 sound strangely familiar. If so, it’s probably because the similarities to companies and products that actually exist right now are jarring. This is a kind of science fiction that is only just barely fictional.

In fact, writer and director Brett Ryan Bonowicz calls The Perfect 46 science factual.” He invited a number of researchers to be consultants on the film and strove to show “a respect for science.” The scientific community has applauded his use of “authentic science” and raved about how the film is “a refreshing change of pace” because it doesn’t dissolve into a dystopian nightmare.  Here Bonowicz elaborates on why he pursued this approach,

By making the film as factually accurate as possible, the conversation that the film creates should, I think, spark something that a more futuristic, fantastic treatment perhaps cannot. The topics we cover in the film – genetics, eugenics, the moral and ethical implications of a consumer genetics service, and the role of government vs. a DTC model – are discussions that deserve to be out in the public. This is a film of the moment.

 In fact, you may find reality to be even more bizarre than this particular fiction. Just last year, the infamous DTC genetics company 23andMe received a patent for "gamete donor selection based on genetic calculations." The premise of the technology was that it could allow people to choose a sperm or egg provider based on probabilities of having a child with the kinds of characteristics they desired including “height, eye color, gender, personality characteristics and risk of developing certain types of cancer.” In response to backlash from the media about its “designer baby patent” with drop-down menus of characteristics, 23andMe assured everyone that it no longer had any plans to pursue the full range of possibilities described.

Another company, GenePeeks, has remained undaunted. GenePeeks launched just months ago, founded by molecular biologist Lee Silver, who writes broadly about how positive eugenics is both laudable and inevitable, and Anne Morriss, the mother of a sperm donor-conceived son who inherited the rare recessive disease MCADD.

GenePeeks’ “Matchright” is remarkably similar to the product offered by ThePerfect46For $1995, “GenePeeks digitally combines your DNA and the DNA of potential donor matches to create a preview of thousands of personal genomes that your child could inherit, focusing on a panel of genes involved in childhood health and disease.” Based on this information, you can then preview your personal “catalog” of donors and further weed them out based on your preference for such characteristics as height, eye color, hair color, education level, and ethnicity. 

What GenePeeks hasn’t marketed yet is its ability to test for much more than “health and disease.” But the patent it was awarded in January explicitly lists many non-medical traits: aggression, weight, breast size/shape, drinking behavior, drug abuse, eating behavior, ejaculation function, emotional affect, eye color/shape, hair color, height, learning/memory, mating patterns, sex, skin color/texture, and social intelligence, among others. It is thought to be possible to screen for just some of these traits, but all are covered by the patent.

Furthermore, GenePeeks doesn’t intend to limit its availability to sperm banks. It plans to expand soon and become available for “anyone planning a pregnancy in advance.” Of course, there is at least one fundamental flaw in the methodology of all these schemes: two people can have an infinite number of children with a full range of characteristics. Choosing a “preferred” donor can’t possibly absolve all risk

In fact [spoiler alert], in The Perfect 46, a bug in the company’s algorithm results in the birth of 24 children with a severe genetic disorder. The horrific mistake causes the company to close its doors and forces Darden into solitude, where he continues to develop his work and reflect on what went wrong. What is perhaps most remarkable about the scenario is that no one is ever found to be at fault, even when some of the children die, and at least one suicide results. While Darden is depicted as a broken man, devastated by the fault in a system he designed, he is relatively unmoved by personal stories, including one about a loving couple that divorced after hearing they were “incompatible.” In his mind, “Just because I created something doesn’t mean I’m responsible for how people use it.”

Is this the kind of language that will be used around technologies governing life and death in our market-driven culture? The film probes many such important questions. How quickly does the right to know become the responsibility, or even the requirement, to know? What will people do with this information? And what happens, and who is accountable, when it is wrong? 

(If 23andMe is anything to go by, some information will be wrong.)

Furthermore, can changing the kinds of people who are born really be considered “preventative medicine?” When recommendations about who is “fit” to be born are made by a commercial entity, does the absence of state involvement make the actions less eugenic? Is “perfection” what we ought to strive for? If so, what do we make of the founder – who is anxious, anti-social, awkward, not good-looking, and in the end, in “an irony that was lost on no one,” infertile?

The desire to know and control more, even when the meaning of the knowledge and our ability to control it is imperfect, can be powerful. But while it makes marketing sense for drug and genetic testing companies to pathologize more and more conditions, it probably doesn’t make sense for us. As these technologies become increasingly present in our lives, that point risks getting lost.

GenePeeks has just received $3 million in financing. The concept of adding genetic profiles to dating sites seems to be gaining steam. These trends suggest that this film could well be “more of a glimpse of the future than simply a hypothetical conversation about ethics and genetics.” 

But if The Perfect 46 is “a sort of prequel to Gattaca,” hopefully we will find a way to stop short of that future. 

You can find upcoming screenings of this thought-provoking film here, and check out CGS’s personal genomics news page here. Can you make it through the hall of mirrors, discerning the difference between fiction and reality?



[Note:  The burning question remains:  Can they really decode anyone’s genome?  Answer:  No.

Remember that the “human genome” is defined as the total DNA in both the nucleus and the mitochondria outside the nucleus of a cell.  Aside from the fact that only about 15% of  “THE” Human Genome has still only been decoded (along with problems like individual genomes are unique;  the sample consisted of mixing multiple samples from people around the world;  only the nuclear genes, and only their extrons, were addressed, etc. (see:  http://web.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/project/index.shtml), what about that part of an individual’s genome provided by the person’s mitochondria?  And what about the 85% of the nuclear genes in an individual’s cells that was called “junk DNA” in the “introns” of those nuclear genes until lately?  Are these “kits” even capable of determining the mitochondria and the “junk DNA” in those “introns”?  See, e.g.: 

--  “DNA is actually not well understood. 97% of human DNA is called ³junk² because scientists do not know its function. The workings of a single cell are so complex, no one knows the whole of it. Yet the biotech companies have already planted millions of acres with genetically engineered crops, and they intend to engineer every crop in the world.”

Genetic Engineering and “Junk” DNA, Genetic Engineering, at:  http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/ramyasekaran-1541143-genetic-engineering/

--  The Astonishing Powers of "Junk" DNA

http://www.khouse.org/enews_article/2012/1982/

--  Most of What you Read was Wrong: How Press Releases Rewrote Scientific History, Center for Genetics and Society, at: 

http://www.geneticsandsociety.org/article.php?id=6390

--  Never-Seen-Before Secret DNA Code And An 'Unusual Meaning'-Scientists Find, at:  http://www.designntrend.com/articles/9627/20131214/never-seen-before-secret-dna-code-unusual-meaning-scientists-find.htm 

-- Junk DNA — Not So Useless After All

“Researchers report on a new revelation about the human genome: it’s full of active, functioning DNA, and it's a lot more complex than we ever thought, at:  http://healthland.time.com/2012/09/06/junk-dna-not-so-useless-after-all/

--  What Junk DNA? It’s an Operating System;  Their report adds to growing experimental support for the idea that all that extra stuff in the human genes, once referred to as “junk DNA,” is more than functionless, space-filling material that happens to make up nearly 98% of the genomehttp://www.genengnews.com/insight-and-intelligenceand153/what-junk-dna-it-s-an-operating-system/77899872/ 

Given that their claims don’t even mention those DNA’s gives an indication that they don’t.  So what does an individual who buys such “kits” really end of knowing about their genome -- and how can any medical or eugenic decisions be based on such “information”?  Indeed, how can any supposed “ideal child” be genetically designed at all?  Is so-called “positive eugenics” a bunch of nonsense?  Perhaps the above, too, is a “discussion that deserves to be out in the public”!  In fact, much of what passes as "genetics research" and the "kits" described below would seem to border on scientific fraud -- and someone should be held legally accountable. The article first appeared here.

Caveat emptor!  --  DNI]



Medical Murder? Mass Woman Medically Kidnapped from Home Dies After Being Denied Medical Intervention

by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff

Lawyers and guardians denied Beverley Finnegan the life-saving treatment her sister wanted her to have. The guardianship cost her life. Photo source.


As the icy blast of the historic “bomb cyclone” chilled the heart of Boston and flooded her streets, an even more chilling battle was taking place over the life of 69 year old Beverley Finnegan.

The fight to get court-appointed guardians and attorneys to allow her to receive life-saving medical treatment has ended with her death just before noon on Friday, January 5, 2018.

See Beverley’s story here:


Her tragic death follows the one day that her sister and advocate Janet Pidge were not able to be by her side at Framington Union Hospital. The brutal snowstorm kept Janet, as well as many other residents in the greater Boston area, home and off the streets on Thursday.

“A Turn for the Worse” – During a Crippling Snowstorm

Beverley’s condition was largely unchanged during the last several weeks, so the Friday morning phone call came as a shock.

Gary Zalkin, attorney for Framington Union Hospital, left a voicemail at 8:30 a.m. saying that that she had taken “a turn for the worse” and would likely pass within the next hour or so.

Janet was already en route to the hospital to be by her sister’s side. Advocate and journalist David Arnold told Health Impact News that he joined Janet in Beverley’s hospital room. He reports that her heart stopped several times, while doctors kept saying that her brain had shut down. Finally, her heart stopped beating for the last time, and she was pronounced dead at 11:48 a.m.

Janet’s attorney Lisa Belanger calls it “euthanasia” – the hastening of Beverley Finnegan’s death. Belanger attempted to file a criminal complaint on Saturday, since euthanasia is illegal in Massachusetts. However, the police denied her request, telling her to file medical malpractice instead. She told Health Impact News:

This is worse than the Twilight Zone.

Kidnapped and Denied Civil Rights over Medical Disagreement

For months, Beverley Finnegan and her sister Janet Pidge have been battling the state of Massachusetts to bring her home. The sisters owned a condo together, and they relied on each other. Several years ago Ms. Finnegan named her sister as her proxy if ever she needed someone to make decisions for her. Her wishes were completely ignored.

A doctor diagnosed her with an illness that, in hindsight, she may never have had. Dr. Anne McKinley said that she had a lung infection called Mycobacterium kansasii and that she would die without treatment. When Ms. Finnegan chose not to go back to that particular doctor, Dr. McKinley filed a protective order with the courts.

Police and social workers broke into the condo and seized her. Because she fought against her kidnappers, she was deemed mentally ill and violent. She was bodily seized and forced against her will into a nursing home and forced onto psychotropic drugs.

The door frame was broken during Beverley Finnegan’s state-sanctioned abduction, yet she was labeled “paranoid.” Photo source: Boston Broadside.

For months, she begged and pleaded to go home, saying that they were going to kill her. The presumably imaginary infection that was used as a pretense to deprive her of her liberty was never addressed – not once.

Stranger Named as Her Guardian, While Sister Fights Back

Lawyers petitioned for, and won, the ability to override Ms. Finnegan’s wishes, and a judge appointed a guardian with Jewish Family and Children’s Services. Under a draconian legal construct known as “guardianship,” Marissa Levenson was granted the authority to make life-altering decisions for a woman she had never before met.

Marissa Levenson, guardian with Jewish Family and Children’s Services, was given authority to place Ms. Finnegan into a nursing home against her will. Photo source: Boston Broadside>.

According to Lonnie Brennan of the Boston Broadside, who met with Janet Pidge and has attended some of the court hearings:

Beverly’s sister, Janet, is hysterically desperate: she’s fighting daily to get anyone to help. Janet can’t stop talking about her sister, non-stop. She’s anxious, desperate, and determined to get someone to listen. She’s spent her savings, she’s knocked on seemingly every door of every lawyer or politician she could find.

She’s been lied to along the way in the same way her sister was lied to. She is called delusional and paranoid for not believing the state.

She can’t stop. She fights on. She’s determined and gets into rants about the shock of the taking of her sister, long-term problems at her condo with certain neighbors, and the tragic history of her family (for which a movie should be set).

Her money is gone and she’s stuck asking for rides daily or help to pay for the trains to take her from Newton to Framingham each day where she prays at her sister’s side. 


Life-Saving Medical Measures Denied

Lisa Belanger says that the decline in Ms. Finnegan’s health was directly related to fact that the state placed her under guardianship. Under that guardianship, she was forced into a nursing home that did not properly care for her. Due to their alleged neglect and possibly actively harmful practices, Ms. Finnegan wound up in a coma on November 30, and doctors have neglected basic medical care that could have saved her life.

On December 18 and again on December 22, Belanger went head to head in court with a gaggle of attorneys and guardians who were determined to pull the plug and end Beverley Finnegan’s life, against the adamant wishes of her sister.

On one side were the guardian and attorneys for Framington Union Hospital, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and Springwell – a non-profit organization utilized by the state of Massachusetts to implement Adult Protective Services policies.

They all argued that it would be more compassionate to pull the plug than allow her to live life under the current circumstances.

Lisa Belanger argued for Ms. Finnegan’s basic Constitutional right to life. She presented an affidavit from renowned medical expert Dr. Paul Byrne dated December 22, in which he stated that she did “not fulfill any set of ‘brain death’ criteria.”

Dr. Byrne laid out specific medical protocols that should have been taken already but hadn’t. He said that if they would initiate such treatment immediately, Beverley’s health should improve.

Since that time, Lisa Belanger engaged in a life and death struggle to get the hospital to do the basic medical treatments that could have saved Ms. Finnegan’s life. She sent numerous requests to the newly appointed Guardian ad Litem Joanne Moses and to the various attorneys involved, including the hospital’s attorney Gary Zalkin.

Her every attempt was rebuffed.

Counsel for Framington Union Hospital, Gary Zalkin. Photo source.

Even though Beverley’s sister and her attorney were clear that they wanted such measures being taken, Zalkin reportedly said that they would have to wait until the new Guardian ad Litem approved of the tracheostomy and they were all able to go before the judge again for approval.

Lisa Belanger countered with:

EVERY SECOND THAT GOES BY YOU AND YOUR CLIENT ARE OVERTLY DEPRIVING MY CLIENT’S SISTER OF WHATEVER RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE.

To confirm, Judge Monks expressly stated that Metro West HAS AUTHORITY to perform emergency necessitated procedures–that such procedures do not require a court order.  Again, the emergency procedures are laid out by Dr. Byrne in his provided affidavits that you have received.

As already substantiated from the documentation I provided you, you and your client’s FAILURE TO ACT continues to be knowingly and deliberately causing overt harm to my client’s sister, Beverley Finnegan.

None of the life-saving procedures were initiated. On the day that Beverley’s sister could not be with her at the hospital due to the massive snowstorm, her health suddenly declined. By the time Janet Pidge and Lisa Belanger got word of her demise, all of the government offices to which they could have turned were closed due to the storm.

They were completely helpless to stop what they see as Ms. Finnegan’s needless death. Because of the guardianship, Beverley’s trusted loved one was powerless to intervene to save her life.

This woman who was functional, in full control of her mind, and able to walk and care for herself on her own just a few months ago is gone – another victim of guardianship.

David Arnold has written several articles on the dangers of guardianship. He told Health Impact News:

Guardianship is a form of slavery, but it is actually far worse than slavery. It needs to be abolished.

With guardianship, they want to rob them and kill them.

Conflicts of Interest: Psychotherapist, Jewish Family and Child Services All Complicit in Death

Even though the sisters lived in a large metropolitan area, the small group of players involved in their case have worked together in a number of similar guardianship cases, according to public records.

Jewish Family and Child Services seems to be a major player in the region. They played a significant role in the decisions leading to the rapid decline of Beverley Finnegan’s health.

Attorneys Gary Zalkin, Lawrence K. Glick, and Wendy K. Crenshaw each appear on the dockets of many guardianship cases in various roles – alternately as counsel for the ward, counsel for the petitioner for guardianship, the petitioner, or guardian.

There are cases where the same attorney’s name shows up in the record in more than one role. In a case from 2016, Case #BR16P0649GD, Gary Zalkin is listed as the attorney for the ward, the petitioner on behalf of the facility wanting to place the ward under guardianship, and as the guardian himself. That is three conflicting roles – all represented by the same attorney.

Zalkin practiced for 14 years as a psychotherapist (Source) before attending law school. He has lectured and written on the practice of guardianship, and has apparently found his niche. According to his website:

Attorney Gary Zalkin wrote the chapter in the Mental Health volume of the Massachusetts Practice Series that explains the new guardianship and conservatorship laws. He has additionally pioneered the affirmation of health care proxies for mental health issues in Massachusetts. He has served as chair of the Riverside Community Care Human Rights Committee and as president of the Board of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Massachusetts, MetroWest affiliate.

In 2005 Attorney Zalkin was honored by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as one of fifteen “rising stars – Massachusetts lawyers who have been members of the bar 10 years or less, but who have already distinguished themselves in some manner and appear poised for even greater things.”

Attorney Gary Zalkin received his B.A. in psychology from Brandeis University in 1989 and his M.S.W. from Simmons College School of Social Work in 1992.

Gary Zalkin is also “a member of the Harvard Medical School’s Program in Psychiatry and the Law.” (Source).

Cover-up of Medical Malpractice?

How is it that a person can lose every Constitutional and human right, including the rights to make personal and medical decisions, refuse medical treatment, live in her own home, be autonomous, and choose to live – based on a letter from a doctor not backed up with evidence?

Framington Union Hospital. Photo taken by an advocate, name withheld by request.

What really happened to Beverley Finnegan – both in the nursing home before her hospitalization and in the hospital during the snowstorm, during the time that her sister could not watch over her and try to protect her?

Is there a cover-up happening of medical malpractice?

What kind of benefit is there to those parties networked together? Why are there so many entities and individuals working to take away the basic human rights of senior citizens?

How can citizens protect themselves from the tyrannical overreach of people operating under the color of law to take all their worldly goods as well as their very liberty? Is anyone safe?

Beverley Finnegan’s voice has been silenced. Will her death go unnoticed, or will it mean something? Who will speak out for justice for her and for countless others whose lives are being stolen?


Other Adult Guardianship Stories We Have Covered:

Medical Kidnapping of Seniors: A $273 BILLION Industry

Obamacare: America’s Elder Medical Kidnapping Epidemic is Leaving Seniors Homeless







Just-Discovered Letter Shows Margaret Sanger Was Part of Euthanasia Society

by Carole Novielli

 

In 1938, just a few years prior to the American Birth Control League (ABCL) changing its name to Planned Parenthood, which today is the largest abortion provider in the nation, a group of American Eugenics Society Members and members of Margaret Sanger's American Birth Control League (ABCL) formed the National Society for the Legalization of Euthanasia.

One Source here

Heading this pro-euthanasia panel was a man by the name of Charles F. Potter who, in 1938 was also on the ABCL Committee for Planned Parenthood according to a February 1938, New York Times story.

Also on this board was Sidney Goldstein who sat on the American Birth Control League's National Council and later was on Planned Parenthood's Board of Directors.

Another member was Frank H. Hankins who was a managing editor for Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger's newsletter called the Birth Control Review. Hankins was also an American Eugenics Society member.
Another more famous name who was sat on the advisory board of this panel was Julian Huxley, who was a recipient of a Planned Parenthood award.
Mrs. F. Robertson Jones was also on this panel, she was an ABCL President, wrote for Sanger's Birth Control Review, and was an honorary board member of Planned Parenthood-World Population and a Board of Director of Planned Parenthood.

ABCL Citizen's Committee for Planned Parenthood member, Dr. Foster Kennedy, was also on the panel.

American Eugenics Society Member, Clarence Cook Little was the President of Margaret Sanger's American Birth Control League (ABCL), at the same time he was on this pro-euthanasia panel.

Clarence Little was the president of the University of Michigan, a founding member of The American Eugenics Society, and a board member of the American Birth Control League which would later be known as Planned Parenthood. (Watch Maafa21)

American Eugenics Society founder and friend to Margaret Sanger, Leon Whitney, also sat on this panel. Whitney advocated forced sterilization, was published in Sanger' Birth Control Review, and openly praised Adolf Hitler for his Nazi effort.

MARGARET SANGER AND EUTHANASIA

It is unclear why Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger was not listed on the above article because Sanger was clearly involved in the Euthanasia Society. Sanger was a member of the American Eugenics Society and many of their members were on this panel. Sanger admitted that she gave a speech to the Klu Klu Klan and in her autobiography, she bragged that she received a dozen invites from the Klan for further speeches. By 1952, Margaret Sanger was open about her belief in Euthanasia.

This 1952 letter from the Euthanasia Society of America clearly shows Margret Sanger on the American Advisory Board of the Euthanasia Society of America

In addition to Margaret Sanger who founded Planned Parenthood the panel also shows Henry P. Fairchild a past president of the American Eugenics Society, a VP of Planned Parenthood;
See here where Sanger is listed as Honorary Chairman of Planned Parenthood in their early years:
Also listed is Harry Emerson Fosdick, who was a recipient of the Albert Lasker Awards Given by Planned Parenthood in 1953.  Henry H. Goddard is also listed and he was published in Margaret Sanger's book, The Case for Birth Control.

Also on the list is Samuel H Holmes. According to the film, Maafa21, in a 1929 speech, American eugenicist Samuel Holmes had proposed that mandatory birth control should be used as a tool to eliminate what he called the menace to the white race that had been created by increases in black population. His solution was to have a quota system in which the right to have a child would be controlled by the government and determined by race. At the time, Holmes was on the National Council of the American Birth Control League which would later become known as Planned Parenthood.

Frank L, Babbott is listed as a Vice President of this Euthanasia Society. Babbott was a founding member of the American Eugenics Society.

Frank H. Hankins  is listed on the Board of Director his associations are listed above.

Clarence C . Little is also listed on the board of directors. Clarence Little was the president of the University of Michigan, a founding member of The American Eugenics Society, and a board member of the American Birth Control League which would later be known as Planned Parenthood. He was President of the International Fed of Birth Control League, Birth Control Federation President, on the Birth Control review editorial board, A Birth Control Federation of America VP, and on the 1938 Citizen Committee for Planned Parenthood. Among other known Sanger associations.

Charles Francis Potter was founder of the Humanist Society and in 1924 Margaret Sanger wrote an Introduction for Charles Francis Potter. Potter was active in the Rhode Island Maternal Health Association, which he served as medical director, as well as Planned Parenthood. He was a member of the American, Rhode Island, and Providence medical societies.

In 1967, Dr. Potter was awarded the Margaret Sanger Medal by Planned Parenthood for outstanding service to family planning, after he served 11 years as medical director of its clinic.

President of the Euthanasia Society was Mrs. F Robertson Jones who was also on Margaret Sanger's ABCL board.  We would later discover that RL Dickinson was President of the Euthanasia Society and Senior VP of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

In 2012 PETER GOODWIN, MD ended his life in accordance with Oregon's Measure 16 'Death with Dignity Act,' the landmark legislation that he helped craft and champion into law in 1997.  Aside from publicly advocating for Measure 16, he served as chairman of the Oregon Death with Dignity Committee. He was also a member of the Planned Parenthood of Columbia/Willamette board.

In 1964, Evelyn Ames co-founded the Planned Parenthood Association of Nashville. She served as the organization's southeastern representative for nine southern states, and on the executive committee of the national board of directors of Planned Parenthood-World Population. She was also a founder and member of the board of the Nashville chapter of Concern for Dying, an advocacy group for the right to die. Ames Davis died in 1993.

Esther Instebo delivered donations and filled fundraiser tables for Planned Parenthood and Washington politicians. Instebo pulled her friends into Democratic Party politics. Instebo worked with the euthanasia organization Compassion & Choices to qualify for help in dying under the state's Death with Dignity law. Knowing that she had that option greatly improved the quality of the last six months of her life because she knew she wouldn't have to put up with what she was afraid of.

According to researcher, Rita Dillar, when Compassion & Choices, formerly The Hemlock Society, convened its June 2012 conference, former Planned Parenthood insider Theresa Connor was a featured speaker. She was public policy director for Planned Parenthood in Washington state for 15 years and instituted the research and strategy behind the 2001 Erickson v. Bartell case that required employers/ insurance plans to cover prescription birth control under anti-discrimination laws.

It is interesting how Margaret Sanger, founded in Eugenics, the American Eugenics Society, and members of the Planned Parenthood all helped establish euthanasia and so-called mercy-killing ideologies in America. The purveyors of death have taken their fanaticism all the way from conception to end of life and no one is outside their bloody grips.



{British royal family physician Dr. Horder oversaw the entire Nazi medical program, and was president of the British Eugenics Society from 1935 - 1950s, and president of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society.  The U.S. branch was called the American Eugenics Society.  In 1938 a group of American Eugenics Society Members and members of Margaret Sanger's American Birth Control League (ABCL) formed the National Society for the Legalization of Euthanasiahttp://www.lifenews.com/2014/04/02/just-discovered-letter-shows-margaret-sanger-was-part-of-euthanasia-society/.  In 1952 the American Eugenics Society merged with the Rockefeller Population Council.  This Eugenics/Population Council awarded a grant in 1968 to Daniel Callahan (with ex-Communist behavioral psychiatrist Willard Gaylin) to found the first bioethics Hastings Center in 1969Callahan worked also with the Population Council, and was on the board of directors of the American Eugenics Society from 1987 - 1993.  Leading bioethics fellows included Peter Singer, and Ezekiel Emanuel (Obama's administration)

A major funder of the new bioethics Hastings Center was Monsanto   [http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/topic/excellence_in_philanthropy/philanthropys_brave_new_world].  Another organization birthed out of the American Eugenics Society was Planned Parenthood, headed by William Gates, father of Bill Gates. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation currently funds the use of midwives in Indonesia to improve access to family planning.  [http://www.impatientoptimists.org/Posts/2014/01/Midwives-Critical-Players-in-Delivering-Family-Planning-in-Indonesia],  as do WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, and the World Bank  [http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2007/9241545879_eng.pdf] -- and the Population Council  [http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/population-control-advocates-plan-to-expand-abortion-through-midwives].  The Population Council works hard to provide 'safe abortions' around the globe  [http://www.popcouncil.org/research/safe-abortion-and-postabortion-care].

The Gates Foundation has also long been involved in vaccines, pharmaceuticals, GMOs, reproductive control, weather manipulation, global warming, etc.  Bill Gates, purchased 500,000 shares in Monsanto back in 2010 valued at more than $23 million, now has a direct interest in seeing Monsanto succeed in spreading GMOs around the world  [http://www.naturalnews.com/035105_Bill_Gates_Monsanto_eugenics.html].  More recently Monsanto is partnering with various synthetic biology pharma organizations   [http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cellectis-compact-talentm-the-next-generation-of-tal-effector-nucleases-2013-05-21 - DNI}

LifeNews Note: Carole Novielli is the author of the blog Saynsumthn, where this article originally appeared.








A Duty to Die

by Phill Kline

The perfect storm in support of the Culture of Death has arrived. Consumerism, self-indulgence, the worship of government, stardom and economic crisis is poised to transform the Shining City on the Hill into a death camp. The nation founded on the principle that all human life has value ordained by God is adopting a utilitarian view of life that casts aside the voiceless, defenseless, broken, disabled, diseased, unborn and elderly. The Land of Plenty is fast becoming a land where government shall ration its plenty only to those who it perceives add value, creating a duty to die for those who government perceives lessen value. We are losing our way.

The Culture of Death - (a) A health care bill introduced by House Democrats forces the elderly to attend consults regarding the withholding of food and water for the chronically ill; and (b) President Obama and the Democrat congressional leadership is attempting to force all Americans to pay for abortions and all hospitals to provide abortions.

Abortion has always claimed "choice" and "liberty" as its driving value. The same with Euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. Yet, at its core, both are about a belief that there is not enough compassion, not enough love, not enough money, not enough life to share. We do not want to face those who by their condition awaken our conscience to our duty to provide for such needs. We'd rather they die.

The most common reason for an abortion is fear of the impact a child will have on the future of the mother, father or parents of the mother. The top reason for assisted suicide is fear of becoming a burden on another.

Abortion is not about the "life" of the mother, nor is assisted suicide about eliminating physical pain as both concerns can be addressed without loss of life.. Rather, euthanasia and abortion are about America's increasing fear that bears the fruit of stinginess through lack of faith.

We are becoming a self-indulgent culture demanding immediate answers to life's intractable problems and thanks to an obsessive media focus, casting our hopes and eyes constantly towards government for answers. This is why government is constantly growing, regardless of which political party holds the keys - both parties have learned that promoting false solutions through government action appeals to America's demands for answers. Government plies our fears, creating false hope and doing so by our political wannabes warrants TV time with the talking heads resulting in Stardom. In government, you do not generate power by depowering government.

Government already dictates much in the medical industry. Medicare and Medicaid are now the largest player in the health care market providing 46 cents of every health care dollar spent in America. Private insurance provides 42 cents of every dollar and the remaining 12 cents comes from consumers through out-of-pocket expenditures.

Markets are intelligent - they know where their money comes from! As a result, as government has increased its play in the market - those who earn in the health care market have turned their eyes on government. Increasingly, physicians, medical manufacturers and hospitals have moved away from protecting free market principles and moved towards demanding more from government.

Professional associations representing these groups have demanded increased government payouts for various procedures and services. Increasingly, they have become employees of government - not directly responsive to patient needs or demands. And put simply, they want a pay raise.

Politicians recognize the political truism that you gain a more loyal following by passing out dollar bills than allowing people to keep their own money: dependency is a great source of power. Honoring this truism grows government - creating ever more powerful constituencies that protect every government dollar spent.

The loss of these constituencies commitment to free market principles has been devasting and increasingly resulted in physician decisions being dictated by government formularies - government reimbursement pay formulas for certain medical services and equipment. These pay formulas are the new values driving decisions in medical care. And now, the primary articulator of these values - government - is ready to pomote a claim of value in death.

A child that is unwanted and uneeded - is simply a burden. Abort it! The elderly - more of a drain than a benefit - encourage physician assisted suicide.

The President's new health care bill will mandate your participation in abortion. And a new "reform" bill introduced in the US House by Representatives John Dingell (D-Michigan) and Charlie Rangel (D-New York) creates government mandated death consultants who will encourage the elderly and disabled to choose death.

In 1985, withholding fluid and nutrition from a patient unable to feed himself or herself was considered criminal. Afterall, we are unable to feed ourselves at numerous stages of life and if we were not in the process of dying, someone wihtholding fluids and food was denying what was considered humane care.

Such care is not medical treatment it is an act of compassion. Yet, with high profile court cases in numerous states and the trend towards death and a rationing of care - in 1986, the American Medical Association for the first time defined the provision of food and water as "medical treatment." The impact is monumental. Medical treatment can be withheld, humane care cannot.

Death by dehydration is brutal and lengthy.  It is accomplished with dozens of people standing by who, with simple effort, can sustain a life they watch wither, suffer and die.

And now in the Dingell/Rangel bill, the government will get into the act. Under Subtitle C - "Miscellaneous Improvements" beginning on page 420 of the 1,018 page bill, the government would mandate under Section 1233 what it terms "Advance Care Planning Consultation."

The consultation requires reviewing with all medicare patients the options of withholding care, including providing information on "the use of artificially administered nutrients and hydration."

There is not a need to educate patients about the need of hydration and nutrients. All of us have lived with that need all of our lives. We obtain it - or we die. This provision is there to encourage a pre-determination of death by neglect in order to, as the bill's title suggests, "provide affordable health care."

The proposed law takes the next step and requires these death consultations when a patient and family are most vulnerable. The consultations are to take place "if there is a significant change in the health condition of the individual, including the diagnosis of a chronic, progressive, life-limiting disease."

This sets up the dynamic for withholding food and water due to non-life threatening conditions. Further, it invites a patient, if conversant, to make a decision about their future during an ultimate time of stress.

This language invites an approach similar to Oregon's assisted suicide legislation, which was sold as a "compassionate" way out for those terminally ill and in constant pain. This was and is a lie.

Studies indicate that none of the 43 who were assisted in their suicides during the first two years of that legislation were facing such problems. The overwhelming concern was being a burden on family and requiring assistance in daily living.

Just as abortion plays on the fears of frightened mothers, euthanasia plays on the fears of frightened seniors and the disabled.

Further, the bill establishes a special government study called the "physician's quality reporting initiative" which will create special government funded "patient decision aids" and government consultation groups to assist paitents in understanding these issues.

These committees will represent different disciplines but with one commonality - all will be paid by government. And government is interested in saving "costs."

The only thing that breaks this cycle is principled leadership or Americans demanding principled action. Americans, however, are increasingly being taught that liberty is a frightening concept - it requires initiative and exists in a state of uncertainty. Today, there is the ever-present temptation to trade liberty for a false sense of security. This has happened with health care.

Health care is now government business and as with all those who pay the bill, government is attempting to cut costs and this means rationing - choosing one over the other. This is one of the main threads of the hidden debate on health care. Proponents of government making such choices are struggling to find the right Orwellian terms to confuse or mislead the American public.

At least Princeton University Professor Peter Singer, although confused, was blunt and direct in the July 19th edition of the NY Times Sunday Magazine. Professor Singer argues that such rationing is logical. Singer is right - it is. The crux, however, is who makes the choice of rationing and whose values are reflected in that decision. Singer and President Obama support government making these decisions.

Singer writes "(r)ationing health care means getting value for the billions we are spending by setting limits on which treatments should be paid for...." And Singer invites us to answer the following problem as an example: "saving the life of one teenager is equivalent to saving the lives of___ 85 year-olds."[ix] Or how about, preserving the quality of life of one adult is worth the lives of how many unborn? Or, saving the life of___ university professors is worth the life of___ unemployed steel workers? (Prof. Singer probably does not want to put that one up for a vote). You can see the problem.

Families make difficult choices of rationing every day - saving for college, purchasing a new and safer car, enhancing savings, moving to a new home, determining health care costs. Increasingly, government is making these decisions for us through the coercive impact of law or through tax code encouragement. This loss of liberty has profound implications. The government solution scheme incrementally replaces opportunity with government promises, diminishes personal accountability creating government inefficiencies and more ominously, invites government dictates in the cause of controlling costs.

And now President Obama is attempting to have government dictate abortion in the name of "choice." Soon, you government may be dictating the duty to die to the disabled, sick and elderly in the cause of universal health care.

Accordingly, the President and Democrat congressional leadership are trying to force through mandated health insurance coverage for abortion and the mandatory provision of abortion services for all Americans as well. All Americans will be forced into health insurance plans that include abortion coverage - forcing all Americans to pay for abortions through their premiums.

It is in these battles that we will define ourselves as a nation and a people.


{Phill Kline is the former Kansas Attorney General and now a visiting law professor in Virginia. His web site is http://www.standwithTruth.com - Ed.)