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October 28, 2018 9:20 pm
Joni Eareckson Tada called the show to discuss Senate Bill 693 and its implications on the disabled and elderly. Gracie joined Joni for this interview and the two women shared their powerful testimonies of facing a combined 85+years of suffering and severe disabilities. They both struggled with wanting to end their lives when originally facing a lifetime of challenges. Intercepting those horrific feelings and difficulties, key friends and family spoke life to both young women (they were both 17-years-old when they had their accidents. ).
Joni expressed concern when she stated, “Our problem (Gracie’s and Joni’s) was not that our injuries were life-threatening. Our problem was depression. Discouragement."
Gracie asked of this bill and those who would implement it, “Are you going to provide them hope—or are you going to provide them drugs to slowly, stealthily euthanize them?”
Adding further, Joni stated, “The new language in this bill does not require hospice patients to be terminally ill to receive life-ending drugs—lethal doses of medication. And that is entirely new for our country. All of the rest of the physician assisted suicide bills across the United States require a person to be terminally ill. But here, in Senate bill 693, you don’t have to be terminally ill to receive a lethal dose of medication. You can just be disabled. You just be too old. You could be just too depressed. And this is what alarms those of us who work against elder abuse and [work in] disability advocacy. We want to clear up that language. We want to make certain this bill does not pass. Let’s get rid of the fraud and waste and abuse in the Medicare system and in the federal hospice program before we pour, ‘…good money after bad.’”
To contact Senators about this bill, click here to see the committee members.
Peter Rosenberger hosts a radio program for family caregivers broadcast weekly from Nashville, Tennessee, on more than 200 stations. He has served as a caregiver for his wife Gracie, who has lived with severe disabilities for more than 30 years. His new book is “7 Caregiver Landmines and How You Can Avoid Them.” Follow @hope4caregiver.
As is his daughter singing with my wife Hotmail good afternoon ladies thank you Michelle.
Well, it's a pleasure to have both of you will start your drawing with you to get right to because I know you play for big conference with Bill and I really appreciate you calling this afternoon. Grace you hangover just a sick I could talk to you anytime though. I just get a job you want my favorite people in the whole wide world and you this is an issue that you are having some very serious conversations with nationally we want to talk about Senate Bill 693 jump right in time it talk about what is it and why is this important well in my network involved in elder abuse are concerned about against Senate Bill number 693 let's start to write that down Senate Bill 693 basically built two things, it will pour a massive amount of taxpayer dollars into federal programs, including Medicare hospice programs plus secondly, there will be new and much more liberal education programs more relaxed regulations, as it were. Now I am against them differently, advocate for Gazan and senior advocates are against this bill is because existing federal hospice programs. We don't know our plan by tremendous fraud or quality care rampant abuse and many think murder and a gross waste of taxpayer dollars under Medicare hospice programs records show that staff administer high doses of unneeded medication so that their medical records contain documentation to justify billing Medicare for these expensive drugs of higher billing rates so I'm encouraging people about no on Senate Bill number 693 and because again a massive amount of federal funding can be ported to a federal hospice program is fought with abuse patients were not even criminally ill when I talk about new regulations and a more liberal education with Bill new language in this bill does not require hospice patients to be terminally ill to receive lethal drug dosage so this sort are our great concern to me and every disability advocate. Everything advocate moved into a new committee in the Senate committee on health, education, labor and pensions to us a note about means no elder abuse. It makes no to unnecessary suffering and death.
That means no fraud, waste, and especially abuse so I'm hoping that my friends all of our friends who are tuned in today will call their senators right there senators email their senators don't know your senator is in congressmen, not just Google your address and ask for your representative before Congress and you'll get all that information just tell your senator that you want them to vote no on Senate Bill number 693 let's not expand funding for federal hospice programs until existing problems are resolved. Congress just can't take much not throw good money after bad.
So basically Peter that's my campaign speech know you have many, many, many years care about listening to you, to say let's get Congress not to throw good money after bad. Johnny that's cost by definition that's what they do they think but I think this is incredible important topic you've written about this a lot. I've written about some not. On this particular bill but a written on some of these things, but you've written quite a bit on this is what's a good place for people to go if they want to see some of the things that you put that in writing about articles you done blog posts. So for this just it all out your website my email@example.com but I wrote a book earlier this year. I called when is it right to die question that we all wonder about when we deal with significant ability when we deal with life altering injuries or illnesses when were taking care of an elderly parent who is suffering from dementia. We want to know why fine that clear distinction between promoting treatment which will extend my love ones life significantly enough good things to encourage like war when I promoting treatment that will do nothing more than prolong the process of dying. We all want to find that clear line next year distinction. We want with them. We went, I don't know when a person is actually an treatment that will help their life to which they should be help soak this book. I think it's practical guidelines. Peter and I thank you so much for getting a solid thumbs-up. As you have in the past and people can find out about this book by just visiting Amazon.com Mark Christian books.com or you can visit Johnny and friends.or will grace your wife. She's such a good friend of mine got some strong opinions about this as well. Just got everything.
Talk to Gracie.
Hi. One of things I wanted to ask both of you all about Graciela to go first and John the follow up with this book when I when I first saw this bill and its calls for a lot of education about hospice and Peltier and so forth.
My first question was, what kind of education whose writing the curriculum and I wondered if there were individuals that would speak to somebody as it finds them so both of you all you two were were hurt when you're 17 years old and you know you have had life altering massive disability issues and and yet yet and I don't know many people to want to live like either one of you quite truthfully what you guys but but what you two ladies live with this extraordinary Gracie's 80+ surgeries that I can count both legs gone intractable pain Johnny quadriplegia, breast cancer, intractable pain. These are very difficult things to live with. Are there going to be one of things I saw is will people be at counseling folks like you all on the productivity of life in spite of the six grace because it is it feel to you what resonates with you on this is, that we experience when we were for so long and all now distracted and affected our lives me know that distraction. I get to thinking that Johnny did your book across the room and someone brought it to me and told her that I love her dearly and she forgiven me for that.
I wanted to answer several of my friends what I can't do everything bank traction. Just give me something to write a play.
I don't care what it is just like that I can't live what they're telling me that I'm not in a walk. I'm never going to run again. I never got can you know so I want to know if this curriculum and training, education and training, which is in the title of the bill is going to be like Johnny organization, their people there people in churches there people in support groups can say is worth living. No matter what that looks like it when you share which line is right now, I'm Johnny now for over 50 years you know where I'm coming from with it are you going to find them hope and provide them to slowly delete them. The way I could not think more eloquently and you just did, because I think your problem and my problem when we were just like our injury which were life-threatening depression and discouragement and perfectly work that you were talking about curriculum and education bill not require patients to be terminally ill to receive life ending dosage of medication for our country. All the rest of the position of five bill across United date require a person to be terminally ill here. Senate Bill number 690 30 does of medication you could just beat a table just speak to all could be to depress and alarm both of us who work against you and disability advocacy want to clear up that language we want.
Make certain that Bill does not have.
Let's get rid of the font and weight, and abuse in Medicare and empty federal hospice program before we pour at but it good good good money after bad. So both of you. So this will just know I would ask you this question, but did you get to the point, my Gracie just said what were you despairing of your own life that you said I just want to check out all my Peter yes of course when I was first entered and even when I started to begin suffering with chronic pain because we deal with state cancer to deal with quadriplegia every day and then you got a face chronic pain every day that it never ending and unrelenting.
You want to give up throwing the count you my faith that I can't do this anymore. I know you will know your faith is so just so anxious you, but when this all happened to you. Your faith was you know you work Johnny Erickson taught about this and she was just a 17 year old girls.
It was who was incredibly scared and so forth and and people came along and spoke words of life to you in that do have that right. Absolutely I would take my girlfriends to bring in their mother's sleeping pill, please bring your father's razor we can do that secretly. No one will ever know that you helped me and my life member of a quadriplegic. I can't handle these things.
I helped in my life. And yet these wonderful people.
God bless them refused to listen to my despairing request, but they spoke words of hope into my life and they said to me Johnny, you may not do quadriplegic, you may not even be on chronic pain, but you can do all things to Jesus Christ who can strengthen you will you will but turn to camp with you, but trust him and that enable them to allow you persevere and into your Peter.
I'm just so glad I'm living.
I just turned 69 years old. 51 years this wheelchair appointment. Life to be easy. I know as I age the encroachments of pain and disability will worsen. Got to trust God with the future. Besides, we already have good laws on the books in United States which allow people like me to die with dignity without drug abuse, of sorts, or or or anything that is anti-light good walls which enable people like me to plan our future and how we want to be treated. What we might like to have for treatment. What mean what we might not like to have for treatment. Make choices so let's not despair of the future as so Gracie said a moment ago. Let's have hope.
Will those beautiful words and that's the message that we all would like to hear this available to anybody 17-year-old girls who had a spinal cord accident or car wreck like yours Gracie or people 89 years old facing of Parkinson's or Alzheimer's or whatever it doesn't matter. Those the words of life. Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life and appreciate both of you, John, Emily, Gracie, have the letter but I gotta tell you, Johnny, I gotta get you back to Nashville because we had kids you got sick and then the Billy Graham funeral so forth and we had a dinner for you and you got a come back because are all waiting at the table, the foods getting: I am so ready for you to come to Nashville and have this dinner with this and I will look for that Gracie last word on that.
We only got about a minute of action less than a minute, Gracie 30 seconds. Just what what Johnny said just echo your heart one time. Time 100 spiritual I tell by my blip on the radar screen of life right now. There will be a respite (make it in the next 30 hour day, whatever that is where and how to speak Rosenberg's dear help somebody walk for the first time I've had the privilege many times through our organization. Standing with hope when my wife Gracie gave up both of her legs follow this horrible Rick that she had as a teenager and she try to save them for years and if it just wouldn't work out.
And finally she relinquished him and thought wow this is that I'm now heavy legs anymore.
What can God do with that and then she had this vision for using prosthetic limbs as a means of sharing the gospel to put legs on her fellow amputees and that's what we been doing now since 2005 was standing with hope. We work in the West African country of Ghana and you can be a part of that through supplies through supporting team members through supporting the work that we're doing over there. You could designate a limb. There's all kinds of ways that you could be a part of giving the gift that keeps on walking and standing with hope.com would you take a moment ago understanding with hope.com and see how you can give they go walking and leaping and praising God. You could be a part of that it standing with hope.com so for caregivers about by caregiver, I am Peter Rosenberg. Three decades of experience to help you stay strong and healthy as you take care somebody who is not.
We can do that because he does know that that's I wish I could play the whole software may have to do that one day that is my wife Gracie and Johnny Erickson taught you can get that on iTunes go out to your website. Standing with hope.com and listen to that. It is spectacular. I would put that interview with Johnny and with Gracie out on our podcast little bit later on the Gracie him and let you have the last word here you Johnny just gave a great interview and end up put it up there. I was reminded of that Senate Bill 20 yeah 633 six buildup 603 to put all of this out of there on the podcast you beautified, you know, Gracie love what you said there that that you had those moments. Anybody know you when you first got hurt so I know not good enough. Thank you for the clarification you I know you when you get hurt.
I didn't know those those despair I've seen you in other despairing moments of calls to other despair but during that initial time of that record your thinking you're 17 years old.
You wake up in your whole body is broken at one time a resident once told us that you had 200 breaks for this Carrick just devastating correct and there's no way you you thought you could ever live like this and I so us. I heard what I hear those things of you being 17, 18 years old in your your begging friends for a razor blade or so sleeping pills to be able to suggest to check out and and look at the life that you live you live to see your grandchildren and people were walking in Africa because a few people are walking in Nigeria because of you people are are are getting hope and in this show because you lived and you've understood that life is so important last words and Johnny around me from Belmont, the one that started saying what you think like matter how mad I got angry at God. Everybody what they were when they were coming to see me. They were relentless and not letting me check out and one of Johnny's favorite song LK John song.
This one is for you. I think if the title minute now. It's not like my thong and one for you can tell every body song for you are Stryker frame guitar and play back to her and people. Gracie and so this you do, you know, let's speak life to each other. That's the whole point of the show today speak life to each other to put this out of the website podcast caregiver podcast.com.
All this is good be out there stating with hope.com. This is what were about here. Thank you for being a part of this will see you next week