November 27, 2019 

Press Release – For Immediate Release

 “Palliative care, defined as alleviating suffering and keeping the patient comfortable, is a corporal work of mercy and should be praised as such” said Louis Brown, the Executive Director of the Christ Medicus Foundation (CMF). “Unfortunately,” continued Mr. Brown, “the Palliative Care Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), S.2080, has serious flaws.” 

“Despite some legal safeguards in the bill, we believe the legislation still risks indirectly providing funding for euthanasia and assisted suicide” said Mr. Brown. “We cannot ignore significant evidence that too many facilities are using hospice and palliative care as a subterfuge for immoral and unethical practices. Under PCHETA, the expanded funding for palliative care can be used to transition people to hospice when this is not clinically appropriate, that is, when there is not a terminal diagnosis. This harmful abuse of hospice and palliative care already happens and hastens death in non-terminally ill patients and allows providers to inappropriately bill Medicare,” continued Michael Vacca CMF’s head of Ministry, Bioethics, and Member Experience.

“Although the Christ Medicus Foundation greatly appreciates the incorporation of the Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act in the Senate legislation, we believe this is not sufficient to prevent government funding from being indirectly used for euthanasia and physician assisted suicide in practice, said Mr. Brown. Mr. Vacca added, “PCHETA provides for government sponsored training, not the furnishing of palliative care, so of course the bill cannot be used to ‘furnish’ euthanasia or assisted suicide, but it can very well be used to train people who will go on to ‘furnish’ euthanasia and assisted suicide. The bill does not include adequate safeguards to ensure that this does not happen.” Mr. Vacca concluded that: “The incorporation of the Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act never truly addresses the fundamental problem: that PCHETA massively expands government funding for palliative care without sufficiently safeguarding the abuse of those funds from being employed for the promotion of euthanasia and assisted suicide. For these reasons, the Christ Medicus Foundation cannot support PCHETA.” 

CONTACT: Becky Escher, Marketing & Communications Manager,

(817) 371-1979; bescher@christmedicus.org

About the Christ Medicus Foundation (christmedicus.org): The Christ Medicus Foundation is a Catholic 501(c)3 non-profit founded in 1997, dedicated to sharing the love of God in health care through defending religious freedom in health care and building a Christ-center