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March 29, 2000

Action Alert - Attention Needed Today, 3/29/00

The Pain Relief Promotion Act is very likely to be marked up in the Senate Judiciary as early as this Thursday (3/30/00). These committee members need to hear of our support for the Pain Relief Promotion Act by this Thursday if at all possible. Volume of letters is more important than eloquence at this point. We hope you can fax letters by Thursday. If you get delayed, still send one as soon as you can, for two reasons: the committee hearing could potentially be delayed a week and committee members need to hear from us again before the vote of the full Senate.

A sample letter with addresses and fax numbers follows.

Thank you for all your help,
N. Gregory Hamilton MD
William L. Toffler MD

 

SAMPLE LETTER TO JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
March 28, 2000
The Honorable «First name» «Last name»
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Facsimile 202-«Fax»

RE: PAIN RELIEF PROMOTION ACT (S 1272, HR 2260)

Dear Senator «Last name»:

As a physician (nurse, counselor, health professional, patient), I urge you to pass the Pain Relief Promotion Act in the Judiciary Committee and the Senate.

The Pain Relief Promotion Act will allow for funding of needed education and research about pain relief and palliative care. It gives no new authority to the DEA. It actually adds new protections for doctors and nurses by making it clear that aggressive pain management may be appropriate medical care even if in rare cases it might increase the risk of death. It protects patients by clarifying that dangerous controlled substances are not to be used for assisted suicide, instead of for good pain relief and palliative care.

The bill is well written in its present form. I urge you to vote for the Pain Relief Promotion Act.

Respectfully yours,

 

=============================

A list of all Judiciary Committee members is attached in a MSWorks data base so you can print merge the letters at they are written onto your letterhead. If that system is not available to you, the same list follows in text format.

Committee Members

Last name First name Fax (area code is 202)

Abraham, Spencer 228-1244
Ashcroft, John 228-0998
Biden, Jr. Joseph 224-0139
DeWine, Mike 224-6519
Feingold, Russell 224-2725
Feinstein, Dianne 228-3954
Grassley, Charles 224-6020
Hatch, Orrin 224-6331
Kennedy, Edward 224-2417
Kohl, Herbert 228-0463
Kyl, Jon 224-2207
Leahy, Patrick 224-3479
Schumer, Charles E. 224-5871
Sessions, Jeff 224-3149
Smith, Robert 224-1353
Specter, Arlen 228-1229
Thurmond, Strom 228-0463
Torricelli, Robert 224-8567

____________________________________________

March 19, 2000

Reminder - Spring Banquet 4/1/00

Physicians for Compassionate Care
SPRING BANQUET and LECTURE

You are invited to attend PCC's 4th annual spring banquet and lecture to be held at the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel, April 1, 2000.

8235 NE Airport Way, Portland, Oregon.

No Host Bar at 6 PM
Dinner at 7 PM
$25.00 per person
$10.00 students and residents

"The Big Lies of the Assisted Suicide Movement"
Presenter: Wesley Smith
Task Force and author of "Forced Exit: The Slippery Slope From Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder" (Times Books, 1997).

--------------------------------------------
Please make my reservations for the PCC Spring Lecture 2000
$25.00 Sirloin Beef Tri Tip___
$25.00 Chicken Cordon Bleu ___

Total number attending ____
Amount enclosed ____
($10 Students/Resident)
Name or Name(s) of those attending

___________________________ ___________________________

(Please return attached reservation card to 5804 SW Gillcrest Court, Portland,OR 97221 post marked no later than March 23)

____________________________________________

March 16, 2000

Sample letters to AMA and Sen. Orrin Hatch

Dear PCC Member:

The Pain Relief Promotion Act (promoting education about pain and palliative care, adding new legal protections for aggressive pain treatment, and clarifying that controlled substances may not be used for assisted suicide) is at a crucial turning point. We need members immediately to write to both Dr. Tom Reardon of the AMA and Senator Orrin Hatch, who chairs the Senate committee where the bill is being considered. Sample letters making the needed crucial points will follow. You can paraphrase them or use them verbatim. Other letters are welcome, also. Time is the most important factor. These two key individuals need to hear from us now.
Thank you for your effort and your commitment to the ethical practice of medicine.

N. Gregory Hamilton, M.D.
President, Physicians for Compassionate Care

William L. Toffler MD
National Director, Physicians for Compassionate Care

>>>>>>>

Thomas R. Reardon, MD
President, American Medical Association
515 N. State Street, 16th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Facsimile: 312-464-5543

RE: Pain Relief Promotion Act (SD.1272)

Dear Doctor Reardon:

I am writing to urge you to put a time limit on negotiations over wording of the Pain Relief Promotion Act. I am sure you agree that the Pain Relief Promotion Act protects both doctors and patients just the way it is written. Surely, any legitimate requests for wording changes can be resolved within a few days. Those continuing to press for changes beyond that time frame are likely wishing to stall and defeat the bill and may not be negotiating in good faith.

Please give Senator Hatch your support for moving the bill, substantially unchanged, to the Senate floor immediately for a vote.

Thank you for your dedicated support of the continued practice of ethical medicine.

Sincerely,

(signature)

>>>>>>>

The Honorable Senator Orrin Hatch
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

RE: Pain Relief Promotion Act

Dear Senator Hatch:

As a physician (nurse, counselor, concerned citizen, etc.), I am writing to urge you to put a time limit on any negotiations over wording of the Pain Relief Promotion Act. The Pain Relief Promotion Act is needed just the way it is written. We all know this bill gives both doctors and patients new protections and gives no new authority to the DEA. Consequently, any sincere requests for minor wording changes that do not gut the bill can be resolved within a few days. Those continuing to press for changes beyond that time frame may well be wishing to stall and defeat the bill and may not be negotiating in good faith.

Those few remaining critics beyond a few days can only be silenced by moving the bill to the Senate floor for a vote. Once this enlightened piece of legislation is passed, the opposition will quiet, the same way it quieted the moment Jack Kevorkian was sentenced to jail. Since there is a definite and steady upward trend in national per capita morphine use and there is considerable consumer pressure for this to continue, national per capita morphine use will improve next year, just as it has in the states which have passed laws similar to the Pain Relief Promotion Act. Those supporting good pain care instead of assisted suicide, that is those who support the Pain Relief Promotion Act, will clearly be vindicated and critics of this bill will soon be chagrined by the facts.

I urge you to move the Pain Relief Promotion Act to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

Respectfully yours,

(signature)

______________________________________________

March 4, 2000

Upcoming Events Sponsored by PCC

Please plan to attend both of these upcoming events sponsored by Physicians for Compassionate Care:

1. The Annual PCC Spring Banquet will be held Saturday, April 1, 2000 at the Sheraton Airport Hotel in Portland. J. Wesley Smith, an expert of the euthanasia movement, will speak on "Forced Exit". No host cocktails are 6-7pm and dinner is at 7pm. Entrees will be either Beef Tritip or Chicken Cordon Bleu at $25 each. Plan to bring students or friends.
RSVP menu selection and $25 per person to:
Evelyn Petty, 5804 SW Gillcrest Ct., Portland, OR 97221 by Saturday, March 25, 2000

2. Also please mark your calendar: The Fourth Annual Palliative Care Conference "Enhancing life at the End of Life" will be held on Saturday, September 30th at the Oregon Convention Center. The nationally-known hospice director, Dr. Walter Hunter, will be the keynote speaker. The emphasis will be on presentation of application oriented information.

If you have any questions or would like more information about either of these events, please contact Dr. William Petty at: wmpetty@easystreet.com .


 


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Physicians for Compassionate Care Educational Foundation