“Death panels” rhetoric puts end-of-life care in reform spotlight

My lede:

A relatively obscure provision in the House’s massive health system reform legislation that would reimburse physicians for counseling Medicare patients about end-of-life care options came under intense fire from conservative opponents in August.

The political fallout prompted a group of six senators working on health system reform to drop the idea from ongoing negotiations. The House may follow suit when Congress reconvenes in early September, sources said.

But physicians said the controversy shows that despite decades of focus on helping patients choose what — if any — interventions they want as they die, end-of-life care remains a political and ethical tripwire.

The whole shebang.