Washington D.C., Oct 29, 2019 / 14:30 pm
The House of Representatives passed a bill late Monday to support palliative and hospice care-but Catholic groups are concerned that a key omission could allow federal funding of practices they say amount to assisted dying.
On Monday, the House passed the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (HR 647) by voice vote; the bill funds efforts to increase palliative care faculties at medical schools, as well as palliative care and hospice training and education.
Palliative care involves pain management and physical, psychological and emotional care for those suffering from a serious illness, and can be provided alongside medical care. Hospice care is when palliative care is given to patients with a terminal diagnosis, who do not wish to unnecessarily prolong their life through extraordinary means of medical care but who wish to remain as comfortable as possible.
The bill requires that federally-funded palliative care be in accord with Assisted Suicide Funding Restriction Act of 1997, in that it cannot promote "assisted suicide, euthanasia, or mercy killing."