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National Briefing

Washington, D.c.

Hearing sought on VA document

August 25, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to consider suspending its use of an advanced medical care planning document that critics have dubbed the "death book for veterans."

"There is an issue as to whether the VA document inappropriately pressures disabled veterans who forgo critical care by subtly urging them on end-of-life decisions," Specter wrote in a letter requesting that the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee hold a hearing on the matter.

VA officials said that the document has been misrepresented by critics and that the decade-old publication, titled "Your Life, Your Choices," is an "educational resource" meant to help veterans direct in advance the medical care they want in the event they are incapacitated.

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