Kleyman: Reform scare tactics hurt ethnic elders

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Paul Kleyman of New America Media about a cruel twist: the “death panels” label propagated by some extremists may serve to scare away the people who would benefit most from the end-of-life care the much-maligned provisions are designed to organize. Kleyman writes that “fear mongering” in the health care debate will hit ethnic elders with particular force because “apprehensive about past racism in the health care system, many elders of color may be further deterred from taking advantage of opportunities to plan ahead and optimize their ability to leave this life with a sense of dignity and control.”

Older African Americans and Latinos are also more likely than whites to find themselves in ICUs during the last six months of their lives, a disparity that Kleyman says shows just how much elders in those communities need end-of-life planning assistance.

New America Media is a collaboration between and advocacy group for more than 2,000 ethnic media outlets in the United States.

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