ASSISTED SUICIDE: House Vote Set For Today
The House of Representatives will vote today on a bill that would "overtur[n] a June decision by Attorney General Janet Reno forbidding federal drug officials from punishing doctors who use prescription drugs as part of state-sanctioned assisted suicide," the Washington Times reports (Scully, 9/16). Yesterday's Portland Oregonian reported that Democrats in Oregon's congressional delegation plan to mount a strong defense of their state's Death with Dignity Act, which would be gutted if the House bill is signed into law. Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-OR) "hopes to paint the bill as a threat to states' rights." She will offer an amendment "that would exempt doctors from federal sanction in states that have passed laws legalizing doctor-assisted suicide." However, the Oregonian notes that Hooley's amendment "is likely to fail because it would wipe out the bill's intended purpose -- stopping legalized assisted suicide" (Barnett/Hoover, 9/15).
The Post Weighs In
A Washington Post editorial comes out against the House legislation, which is sponsored by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL). The Post argues: "It's out of concern for palliative care that the American Medical Association, which opposes assisted suicide, nonetheless is strongly against the Hyde bill and the precedent of criminalizing doctors' judgment calls. Even setting aside the doubtful wisdom of overturning a state's carefully constructed attempt to take its own path on assisted suicide, the harm done to pain relief and the dying is reason enough to reject this bill" (9/16).
|ASSISTED SUICIDE: Both Sides Offer Views On Bill|