Is hospice industry part of the right-to-die crusade?

Canadian Free Press | March 29, 2005
by Judi McLeod

Listen to interview regarding Terri Schiavo (03/29/05)

"The force that created today’s hospice also propels the right-to-die movement." George Felos made that statement in his book, Litigation as a Spiritual Practice.

Felos, a self-styled dying-with-dignity crusader and attorney for Michael Schiavo has a right to his beliefs; a right to lobby and campaign for the death culture.

Funded, in part by federal tax dollars and having earned a reputation as the best among available end-of-life options, the hospice industry should play no role in the right-to-die crusade.

Patient care and not politics should be the focus of hospice administrators, board members and caregivers.

George Felos is best known for winning Guardianship of Browning , a landmark case on the so-called right to refuse or have withdrawn unwanted medical treatment.

According to Sharon Tubbs ( St. Petersburg Times, May 25, 2001), "After the Browning case, Felos became a volunteer for the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, sitting and talking with terminally ill patients."

In time he was to become a member of the hospice board of directors.

During the past decade, Felos has been legal counsel for about 10 right-to-die cases.

The yoga practitioner and believer of reincarnation admits he is "exhilarated" to see himself on television. "Some of my best quotes appear on the editorial page," he has boasted.

Felos offended some by describing the dying Terri Schindler Schiavo as "beautiful" on national television last Saturday, and was insisting as late as last night that Terri’s death did not appear "imminent" to him.

It is not the first time the attorney has used uncomely rhetoric to describe a dying patient caught up in a right-to-die court case.

Felos claims he made "soul talk" with a dying Estelle Browning.

"Such a deep dark silent blue. I stared as far into her eyes as I could hoping to sense some glimmer of understanding, some hint of awareness. The deeper I dove, the darker became the blue, until the blue became the black of some bottomless lake. `Mrs. Browning, do you want to die…do you want to die?’ I nearly shouted as I continued to peer into pools of strikingly but incognizant blue. It felt so eerie. Her eyes were wide open and crystal clear, but instead of the warmth of lucidity, they burned with the ice of expressionlessness."

Throughout his book, Felos promotes a pantheistic theology of God by advocating that God and humanity are one and the same part of Universal Consciousness.

Meanwhile, is the hospice industry an activist contingent of the right-to-die movement?

Ron Panzer, President of the pro-life Hospice Patients Alliance (HPA), contends that hospice workers all over the country are routinely killing patients.

"Those who report to HPA tell us they’ve overheard nurses saying things like, `I’m just like Jack Kevorkian, only I do it with morphine.’ And they get away with it week by week because it’s hospice." (

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