Better hide your baby Sarah..... The return of 'death panels'? - The Week Sarah Palin memorably labeled an end-of-life counseling option in the Obama health care reform plan as "death panels," fueling an uproar that led Democrats to withdraw the measure. Now, the Obama administration is effectively enacting the same policy through a new Medicare rule that takes effect Jan. 1. Under the policy, Medicare will pay for doctors to advise patients on end-of-life care, including the option to forego aggressive treatments.