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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I traffic in End of Life Care

At my job, we publish a booklet called Planning for the End of Life. In fact, my entire day job is essentially about creating life income gift, end of life issues, establishing bequests, and considering your legacy when making certain kinds of gifts. In short: end of life issues, at least from a charitable perspective. We advise people about sample bequest language, but also about how to create a medical directive and things of that nature.

When people are educated about their options, they tend to find ways to supplement their retirement income, avoid capital gains and gift taxes, and also financially take care of their family and themselves as they move into a phase of their lives where their medical costs will skyrocket.

When the insurance lobbyists and conservatives refer to "end of life care consultations" in dire terms, they make me laugh out loud. All day, every day, I work in the world of "end of life." I see more death certificates cross my desk every week than most people see in their entire lives.

Powerful people are trying to terrify the poor and the elderly into protesting against their own interests. And the media is helping them do it by not treating any scare tactics relating to end of life care with the chuckle they deserve.

This "issue" is less than legitimate: it doesn't exist.

Articles like this one are a fine example of how the media is failing to do its job. Lies, not fears, are driving the political protesters. If the media doesn't exist to expose lies, what use is it, except to serve as a mouthpiece for the loudest?

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