Jonah Goldberg weighs in on the Veterans’ Administration’s Necronomicon Ex-Mortis:
I just watched Tammy Duckworth try her best to defend the V.A. "death book" on Fox News Sunday. The Iraq War veteran was severely wounded as an army aviator, losing both her legs, and is currently an assistant secretary at the V.A. The administration sent her out to defend the book and to push back against Jim Towey, who first raised the issue. While she admirably held her own, her talking points were often very, very lame (she kept insinuating that Towey’s bitter his $5 book isn’t free of charge to vets). The upshot was she defended this irretrievably gross book on the merits and attacked the messenger to boot.
Here is reality weighing in, once again, on how wrong Jonah Goldberg is:
On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace repeatedly cropped quotes from a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) document to falsely suggest that the Obama administration is pressuring veterans to end their lives prematurely and to accuse Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth of lying about it. In fact, contrary to Wallace’s false assertions, the document he referred to does not require doctors to direct veterans to what conservatives have labeled the "Death Book for Veterans."
Here is a vet weighing in on Jonah’s "messenger", Jim Towey:
Really, if the document was really trying to get veterans to pull the plug on themselves, then first suggesting to them that their life should be prolonged at all costs is a pretty stupid way to do it.
In light of the absolutely ridiculous argument Towey makes in his op-ed, I’d like to point out something Towey isn’t telling you. In 1996, Towey founded an organization known as "Aging with Dignity" which still exists today. The following year, Aging with Dignity released a document titled "Five Wishes". Five wishes is the same type of document as the VA’s "Your Life, Your Choices", only 41 pages shorter and not legally sound as a living will in 10 states. That’s right. All you need, according to Jim Towey, to make your end of life decisions is five questions and twelve pages, because wrestling over end of life shouldn’t take up more than two minutes of your time. That is, if you are lucky enough to live in one of the 40 states in which it is acceptable.
Here is something else that Jim Towey isn’t telling you: He wants to kill the "Your Life, Your Choices" pamphlet because he has been trying to sell his own "Five Questions" document to the VA for use in VHA medical centers:
Here is a suggestion for Jonah Goldberg that is shorter than Towey’s book and $5 cheaper: