August 26, 2000
Nader Joins Bush and Lieberman in supporting PRPA
During a campaign stop, presidential candidate, Ralph Nader, told
Oregon voters he supports the Pain Relief Promotion Act and opposes
the Oregon assisted suicide law.
Colin Fogarty of Oregon Public Broadcasting reported, "Nader reiterated
his opposition to physician-assisted suicide, saying HMO's could
put financial pressure on patients to end their lives. He supports
a Congressional bill to prevent use of Oregon's voter-approved Death
with Dignity Act" ("Nader Speaks Out on N.W. Issues," August 25,
2000, see http://www.opb.org/nwnews/trans00/naderpdx.asp).
The Oregonian also reported on Nader's wish to protect the vulnerable
from assisted suicide in a story by Jeff Mapes, August 26, 2000,
With Lieberman, Bush and Nader favoring the Pain Relief Promotion
Act, there is now tripartisan support for this enlightened piece
of legislation to improve pain care for the seriously ill and to
protect vulnerable patients.
August 29, 2000
Urge Senators to Support the Pain Relief Promotion Act!
Dear PCC Members and Friends:
The following is a request forwarded to PCC from Americans for Integrity
in Palliative Care (AIPC) urging letters to Senators supporting the
Nickles/Lieberman Pain Relief Promotion Act. The Act is tentatively
scheduled for a debate and vote September 15 and 18; 60 votes will
be needed to end Senator Wyden's threatened filibuster of the bill.
Please take a few minutes to act on this alert. Feel free to print
it out, copy it, share it with friends and colleagues, etc. You can
can magnify the impact of your letter by producing a generic version
("Dear Senator" without specifying a Senator's name) and faxing it
(on "fine" setting) to:
Gene Tarne Americans for Integrity in Palliative Care
fax (703) 684-5813
AIPC will gather these letters into packets and reproduce the packets
for sending to all Senators as the vote approaches.
Thank you for your ongoing support,
Greg Hamilton MD
William Toffler MD
URGE U.S. SENATORS TO SUPPORT THE PAIN RELIEF PROMOTION ACT!
The Pain Relief Promotion Act promotes the use of federally controlled
drugs for pain relief without permitting assisted suicide and euthanasia.
In 1999, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved
this measure (H.R. 2260). Sen. Don Nickles (R-OK) has introduced
a companion bill in the U.S. Senate (S. 1272). Forty-two Senators
are sponsors. Despite strong bipartisan support, a determined campaign
is underway to stop passage of this legislation.
SENATE FLOOR ACTION EXPECTED: The Senate Judiciary Committee redrafted
the House-passed bill, H.R. 2260, and on April 27 reported the measure
favorably, 10-yes, 8-no. H.R. 2260 is now expected to be on the Senate
floor in September. It is anticipated that opponents, led by Sen.
Ron Wyden (D-OR), will employ a filibuster to prevent the bill from
coming to a vote. Please urge your Senators to support this bill
and oppose a filibuster (60 votes required to stop). More information
on S. 1272 or H.R. 2260 can be found on the internet at http://thomas.loc.gov.
BACKGROUND: In 1998, U.S. attorney general Janet Reno announced
that the federal Controlled Substances Act establishes no uniform
national policy against the use of federally regulated drugs for
assisted suicide. As a result, these drugs may be used to assist
patients' suicides in any state that, like Oregon, allows the practice
under state law. This ruling disregards current federal law that
prohibits the use of these drugs to endanger "public health and safety" (21
USC 823) or for anything other than a "legitimate medical purpose" (21
CFR 1306.04). For its part, the Pain Relief Promotion Act affirms
the use of federally controlled drugs for legitimate pain control,
even in cases where such use may unintentionally hasten death as
a side-effect ("principle of double effect"). It also reaffirms that
federal law does not authorize the deliberate use of federally regulated
drugs for assisted suicide or euthanasia. A state law allowing such
practices does not change the federal government's responsibility
to prevent misuse of potentially dangerous drugs. This Act also provides
important new programs to promote palliative care through research,
education, and training. The measure is endorsed by many medical
groups, including the American Medical Association. More information
on this issue can be obtained at the NCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life
Activities' web site: http://www.nccbuscc.org/prolife/issues/euthanas.
Please contact your two Senators through letters, phone calls, fax
letters, and e-mail. Mail letters to:
The Honorable (name)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121, and ask for the
Senators' offices; or call the Senators' local offices. More information
on Senators' phone or fax numbers and e-mail addresses can be found
on the internet at http://www.senate.gov/senators/index.cfm.
MESSAGE: "Please support the Pain Relief Promotion Act and oppose
any filibuster to the bill."
WHEN: It is anticipated that Senate floor debate will take place
Please continue action until you hear that the Senate vote has occurred.
And remember to fax a "Dear Senator:" copy to Gene Tarne at 703-684-5813.