Two very misleading “fact sheets” are being promoted and sold nationally by Respecting Choices, operated by Gundersen Health Systems, not only with people who are close to death, but also for advance planning purposes. They express a strong bias against long term use of feeding tubes, BiPAPs and ventilators, discouraging health care consumers and medical professionals from using these life-sustaining devices except for short-term recovery and not as part of a viable and vibrant disability lifestyle. These devices are portrayed as uncomfortable and ineffective, especially for those of us who are “older” and “weakened” by long-term, progressive conditions.
Not every technology works for everyone, and people should certainly make their own choices, but choice is only possible when people receive full, accurate, and unbiased information.
We [Not Dead Yet] have developed a national sign on letter to express disability-related concerns to Gundersen and initiate a process to resolve these concerns. We are looking for some organizations, as well as individuals who use these devices, to sign on. To view the letter and “fact sheets”, as well as our analysis and concerns, please go to http://tinyurl.com/mhs3z9j.
Please consider lending your name or the name of your organization to this important effort. Together, we can spread the word that life-sustaining technologies do not reduce the quality of our lives, but enable us to survive and thrive.
To sign on to this letter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide the name as it should appear, as well as city and state. For organizations, please indicate whether the organization is national, state or local. For individuals, please indicate if you use a feeding tube, BiPAP or ventilator.
Diane Coleman, JD, MBA
Not Dead Yet
497 State Street
Rochester, NY 14608