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Tammy Duckworth "Death Book Debate" (Fox) transcript links here:

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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:08 PM
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Tammy Duckworth "Death Book Debate" (Fox) transcript links here:
The following is a rush transcript of the August 23, 2009, edition of "FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace." This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: We're going to do something different here today. Usually, we discuss the news, but today we're going to tell you about something you may never have heard about, what critics are calling the "death book."

It's a 52-page pamphlet the Department of Veterans Affairs is using right now in end-of-life counseling for the nation's 24 million veterans.

We're going to talk with Jim Towey, former director of faith-based initiatives in the Bush administration, who broke this story. And then we'll turn to Tammy Duckworth, assistant secretary of veterans affairs. Miss Duckworth insisted on being interviewed separately.

Mr. Towey, welcome to "FOX News Sunday."


WALLACE: Let's start with an overview. What's wrong with this material, "Your Life, Your Choices," that the V.A. is using for end-of-life counseling right now?

In the article that you wrote in the Wall Street Journal in which you disclosed this, you say the message is clear, hurry up and die.

TOWEY: Well, the message that they want to communicate, I think, is if you have a stroke or if you have a coma situation that somehow your life has lost a little value and it may not be worth living anymore.

My problem with the document, Chris, is that the author of it is a proponent of assisted suicide. He's way out there on that issue. And the V.A. has been using this. A new directive just came out in July, urging providers to refer patients to it. So in my view, there should be a balanced treatment. And this is a slippery slope that kind of makes people when you look at the document, it makes people feel like they're a burden and that they should do the decent thing and die.

WALLACE: Miss Duckworth, that just Miss Duckworth, I don't want to I don't want to argue with you, but but the...


WALLACE: ... but the facts are that it wasn't in use from 2007 until July 2nd of 2009 when, in the VHA handbook, you specifically reinstated it and specifically told health care practitioners to refer veterans to it.

DUCKWORTH: Chris, it has not been reinstated. Let me make it clear. The only advanced directive that we have is dated February of 2007. And it actually encourages veterans to use any type of tool or checklist they would like to.

There are many, many good ones out there. This "Your Life, Your Choice" is widely used out there, not just within V.A. There are many others that are out there. And veterans are free to use whatever they would like to use.

Secretary Duckworth, I don't know if we're able in the control room to put up the first the full screen of the VHA directive, but I'd like you to put up the first full screen, if you can.

In the VHA directive of July 2nd, 2009, it says the following on page 8, "Primary care practitioners are responsible for giving patients pertinent educational materials, e.g. refer patients to the 'Your Life, Your Choices' module." I mean, it's just there in black and white on the VHA directive of July 2nd.

DUCKWORTH: Chris, I I'm sorry, I can't see that on the monitor in here. I will tell you that I know for a fact that the only directive signed by Secretary Shinseki I mean, signed by a V.A. secretary was actually signed by Secretary Nicholson, and it's dated February of 2007.

What you're looking at may not actually be a directive, so I since I can't see it...

WALLACE: Well, we'll...

DUCKWORTH: ... I'd be happy to come back and discuss it with you, but let's talk about what V.A. is trying to do.

We have the largest increase in our budget in over 30 years. We are going to be expanding access to veterans. We are working with the new G.I. bill for the 21st century. We are fighting to end homelessness. And we are doing quite a lot for veterans.

And I don't think that there's anybody that understands better the importance and value of life than those of us who have worn the uniform and faced combat.

WALLACE: I apologize. We're running out of time.

DUCKWORTH: Oh, I'm sorry.

WALLACE: I want to ask you one last question. If you feel so strongly about the value of life, although the disclaimer is on there, this document, "Your Life, Your Choices," is still on the V.A. Web site.

Secretary Duckworth, while it's supposedly being revised, it's still up there. Can you promise us that this will be taken down today?

DUCKWORTH: It is still up there with the disclaimer that it's under revision and do not use it. It cannot...

WALLACE: It doesn't say don't use it.

DUCKWORTH: Let me, Chris...

WALLACE: But why have it up there at all? Why not just say we're going to take it down?

DUCKWORTH: Because we are bound by federal law. It was developed with federal research grant monies, and most of our all of our programs that were results of federal research grants are online for people to use for research purposes.

But we very clearly tell all of our veterans, "Please use any type of a tool that is most suitable for you and your loved ones," and you can certainly there are many great ones out there, including Mr. Towey's, if they want to go spend the $5 for it apiece.


WALLACE: If you want to read the V.A. book for yourself, you'll find a link at our blog, And we will stay on this story of end-of-life counseling for our veterans.
(emphasis mine)
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. Wallace was a prick!
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Wallace is a right-wing republicon propaganda tool
Trying to make a story out of a non-story. As usual.
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