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October 4, 2000

Educational Alert! Urgent Response Needed!

Dear PCC member:
I received the following urgent information from Gene Tarne, Executive Director of Americans for Integrity in Palliative Care (AIPC). Please read and respond at once. In addition, please share this information with anyone who may find it of interest.

Thank you for your ongoing support.
William L. Toffler MD
National Director, Physicians for Compassionate Care

>>>>>

It now appears that Trent Lott needs a wake-up call on the Pain Relief Promotion Act.

As chances of having the bill come up by itself are lessening because of the Wyden/Democrat filibuster, there is a chance it could be added to another piece of legislation. However, it now seems that Trent Lott, the majority leader, is loathe to do this, because he doesn't think there is enough interest in the bill for him to justify this tactic.

Therefore, this request: PLEASE, if you can, call Trent Lott's office and let him know how vital it is that the Pain Relief Promotion Act is passed. He has to hear from you, as doctors intimately involved in caring for the long-term and terminally ill how vital it is that this legislation get before the Senate and passed. We have to let him know that there is indeed great interest in getting this bill passed. His number is 202-224-3135.

Ask for his chief of staff, David Hoppe. If you have any friends and colleagues in Lott's home state of Mississippi who you know to be on our side on this issue, please contact them and asked them to call Lott also.

As always, thanks for your consideration of this request, and for all you have done to support this bill!

Gene


October 6, 2000

Another Educational Alert: Please Respond At Once!

Dear PCC member:
Now that we've filled up Sen. Lott's box, we have to call the Democrats, too!

Please call Senator Minority Leader, Tom Daschle (202-224-5556), and "urge" him "to break the logjam and ensure a prompt and favorable vote on the Pain Relief Promotion Act.

While volume of calls is more important than details, the above polite message may prove insufficient for some of us to express our concerns. Some may wish to more clearly mention such concerns as: it would, indeed, be perceived as callous for the Democrats to hold this lifesaving bill, which already has the support of the majority of the Senate and of the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, hostage to unrelated Democratic concerns while patients are suffering and doctors remain without the protections this enlightened bill will afford; or even, for the Democratic leadership to use the unrelieved suffering of dying patients as so much election-year fodder would be cruel, indeed.

Please call immediately! Additionally, if you haven't called Trent Lott yet or didn't get through the first time, call him, too (202-224-3135). The message to him, the Majority Leader, is different. "I urge you to attach the Pain Relief Promotion Act to an appropriations bill and get it passed!" It already has the support of the majority of the senators and the support of the Oregon Republican Senator. Don't let this bill be held hostage to unrelated Democratic concerns!

Please keep calling both Senators every few days until the Pain Relief Promotion Act passes or the Senate adjourns.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

N. Gregory Hamilton, M.D.
President, PCC
William Toffler, M.D.
National Medical Director, PCC


October 22, 2000

Maine Polls Show Drop in Support for Assisted Suicide

Dear PCC Members:

I am writing to make you aware of encouraging shifts in voter attitude in Maine and, at the same time, the need for your financial support to continue the effort. In late August, 71 percent of Maine voters surveyed said they supported assisted suicide. Not any more! Despite a formidable uphill battle, the broad-based Maine coalition against assisted suicide is making amazing headway.

The numbers have tumbled since then, with only 54 percent of likely voters saying they approve of the idea and 39 percent saying they don't. "I was surprised at the degree of movement in a six-week period," said MaryEllen FitzGerald, the president of Critical Insights, Inc, a Portland-based strategic marketing research firm. "That's a big drop." Both sides say the No On One Campaign, formerly Maine Citizens Against the Dangers of Physician Assisted Suicide, has been especially effective.

Kate Roberts, the director of the so-called Mainers for Death With Dignity, which is backing Question 1, said, "It means exactly what we've been saying is going to happen all summer, which is the race is going to tighten the minute the opposition gets on TV and spends a lot of money to tell the voters that they're wrong."

Edie Smith, the spokesperson for the No On One Campaign, said she, too, expected the numbers to change. "Our message is having an impact," she said. "That 39 percent number is a huge jump . . . Maine voters who weren't sure about the issue became educated, and realized it would be bad policy to put into law."

She said her organization is still raising money and plans to continue running television commercials.

As National Director of Physicians for Compassionate Care, I ask that you consider joining me in financial support for this critical campaign. You may contribute by going to the group's website (www.noassistedsuicide.com/) and clicking on Volunteer & Contribute which allows you to contribute by credit card. You can also mail checks to the following address:

Maine Citizens Against the Dangers of Physician Assisted Suicide
One Monument Square
Portland, ME 04101-1110

For more information or if you have any questions, please call 207-791-1464.

In addition I ask that you please share this information with anyone who may find it of interest. Thank you for your ongoing support.

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


October 26, 2000

Urgent Request from Gene Tarne of AIPC

Dear PCC member:

I received the following update and urgent request from Gene Tarne, Executive Director of Americans for Integrity in Palliative Care (AIPC). Please read and respond at once. In addition, please share this information with anyone who may find it of interest. Thank you for your ongoing support.

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

Here's the latest on what's happening on PRPA, if you have not already received this information from another source.

The bill has been attached to the House budget bill, H.R. 2614. The PRPA itself now has a new number, HR 5544. It will probably be voted upon by the Senate on Friday (10/27/00). Please contact your own senators, and cc copies of your letter to both Senators Nickles and Lott, in support of passage.

You might say "I understand that there will be an opportunity to enact the Pain Relief Promotion Act of 2000, HR 5544, now included in the budget bill, HR 2614. Please vote to enact HR554, the Pain Relief Promotion Act of 2000."

Without necessarily taking a position on the budget bill, we do want to urge passage of the PRPA.

Please consider send a letter (even just redating and reworking past letters) ASAP! At long last, it really does look this time as if it will be getting to the floor and this most probably will be the final chance for passage this session.

Also, please urge any other interested parties to also send letters.

The senate website where you can find your senators address/fax:

http://www.senate.gov/contacting/index_by_state.cfm

Please fax your copy for Senator Nickles to the attention of Debbie Price at: (202)228-0034.


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Physicians for Compassionate Care Educational Foundation