White House May Reintroduce 'Death Panels'

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The Obama administration has restored one of the most controversial provisions of the new health care law.

The New York Times reported the new policy will let the government pay doctors for end-of-life counseling. That counseling could include doctors discouraging patients from trying everything medically possible that might keep them alive.

"The infamous Section 1233 is still alive and kicking," said Elizabeth Wickham, executive director of LifeTree, a pro-life Christian educational ministry.

"Patients will lose the ability to control treatments at the end of life."

The measure was dropped from the original health care bill after heavy criticism.

Opponents said that could lead to what they called "death panels" because the doctors could have some patients prematurely give up on treatments that might save their lives.

"Advance care planning improves end-of-life care and patient and family satisfaction and reduces stress, anxiety and depression in surviving relatives," the administration said in the preamble to the Medicare regulation, which quotes research published in the British Medical Journal.

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