This lie was begun by anti-abortion George W. Bush staffer, Jim Towey. From Veterans Today:
How did the phony ‘death book’ debate involving Veterans Affairs begin? Simple. Fox News-owned Wall Street Journal published an op-ed piece by Jim Towey, former Bush coordinator of anti-abortion activities and political fixer.
Towey is now president of St. Vincent's College, though he has no experience of any kind as an educator. Further, 80% of the faculty have called for his resignation for falsifying documents. It was Towey, in his WSJ editorial who continually mischaracterized VA attempts to inform patients of choices as an attempt to encourage Gulf War veterans to commit suicide.
The pamphlet itself, Your Life, Your Choices, is far from controversial. In fact it is, if anything, frighteningly conservative and mainstream. The document is exhaustive in its addressing of faith based decision making. Every imaginable attempt was made to see to it that no group, no matter how ‘wingnut’ or extreme, would find anything to complain about. The result was a huge document, though extremely informative, that is too long for anyone to read or at least want to.