Former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) recently claimed that the end-of-live provision in the healthcare reform legislation would create a government "death panel" to decide such issues. But during her term as governor, she signed a resolution that "encouraged hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities, and hospices" to help patients make end-of-life plans.

In 2008, Palin signed a state resolution proclaiming April 16 as "Heathcare Decisions Day," which was "designed to raise public awareness of the need to plan ahead for healthcare decisions, related to end of life care and medical decision-making whenever patients are unable to speak for themselves."

The resolution also encouraged people to draft "advance directives to communicate these important healthcare decisions."

The provision expressed hope that "more citizens will have conversations about their healthcare decisions; more citizens will execute advance directives to make their wishes known; and fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient."

In a Facebook message yesterday, Palin criticized the House legislation for encouraging doctors to initiate end-of-life consultations, suggesting that elderly patients would feel pressured not to accept treatment.