Dear PCC member,
The following educational alert is written by Dr. Gregory Hamilton,
President of PCC. In it, he describes the dangerous televised promotion
of assisted suicide techniques by Derek Humphry, the co-founder
of the Hemlock Society. Chillingly, one of the airings of this
video is scheduled for Saturday morning--a time when many children
will be "channel surfing" for cartoons. Please share this information
with anyone who may find it of interest.
William L. Toffler MD
National Director, Physicians for Compassionate Care
ADVERTISING SUICIDE IS IRRESPONSIBLE
Derek Humphry claims he will make "communication history" in Eugene,
Oregon, February 2, 2000, as his "world premiere" video, which graphically
presents his most recent and experimental "how to die" techniques,
shows viewers how to "take their own life," on Public Access TV (Ch.
Physicians for Compassionate Care considers it irresponsible to
promote suicide techniques over the television. This promotion of
suicide techniques serves a suggestive function which says: suicide
is okay and here's how you do it. This is a threat to human safety.
These suggestions of suicide techniques will work just like an advertisement.
We all know that commercials don't have to say: "Go buy apples." They
can just say "apples" and that's all it takes to influence viewers.
Derek Humphry is not only suggesting suicide to the seriously ill
and vulnerable and showing them how to kill themselves. He is, through
the power of suggestion, promoting suicide as a solution to life's
problems to anyone viewing, whether they be an abused teenager, a
depressed adult, or an impressionable child.
In Oregon, where the suicide rate is 43% higher than the nation's,
or in any state, for that matter, it is irresponsible to promote
suicide on TV. Compounding the problem of a skyrocketing number of
suicide attempts in our state, Derek Humphry's highly lethal suicide
suggestions make it dangerously less likely that people who attempt
suicide will recover to receive the help they are crying out for
us to give them.
Physicians for Compassionate Care believes it is unethical for Derek
Humphry to air his lethal program that suggests suicide. This program
reveals just how far the man who instigated the assisted suicide
movement in Oregon will go in to carrying out his suicide and death
The advertising of suicide is a threat to human safety.
N. Gregory Hamilton, M.D., President
Physicians for Compassionate Care P.O.
Box 6042 Portland, Oregon 97228
(503) 533-8154; Fax (503) 533-0429
Affirming an Ethic that All Human Life is Inherently Valuable