Recent 'Death Panel' Uproar Echoes Age-Old Controversy

Kaiser Health News staff writer Christopher Weaver details events similar to this summer's "death panel" controversy, but that happened decades ago. "It was early summer. A senior federal health official wrote a memo suggesting that living wills -- documents that can convey patients' wishes about when to end life support -- could help curb health-care costs. The memo leaked to the media. By August, a New York Times' column said the official 'likes euthanasia.' Sound like this year's angry August? Well, this story unfolded in 1977, and the official in question was Robert Derzon, the first administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration, now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (11/10). Read entire story.

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