PRESS RELEASE - May 5, 2004
PROOF OF FAILED ASSISTED-SUICIDE SAFEGUARDS;
DEPRESSED PATIENT PRESCRIBED LETHAL DRUGS
Tomorrow, the shocking facts about a depressed Oregon cancer patient
prescribed assisted-suicide drugs will be revealed at the national
scientific meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA)
in New York City. This disturbing case contains facts of key importance
to any state considering following Oregon in legalizing assisted
suicide. The case may also have bearing on an upcoming Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals assisted-suicide decision-a decision likely to be
appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. This important decision concerns
a Department of Justice ruling that disallows use of federally controlled
substances for the purpose of doctor-assisted suicide even in Oregon,
the only state where the practice has been legalized. Tomorrow's
medical report to the nation's psychiatrists describes the first
ever case of legalized assisted suicide in Oregon that is based on
extensive medical and psychiatric records. Out of a wish to help
others, the patient provided written permission to the authors to
obtain his medical and psychiatric records and to discuss his case
publicly without disguising his identity.
Assisted-suicide activists promised voters that depressed patients
with serious illnesses would never be given overdoses of lethal drugs.
They said there were safeguards. But, as this case proves, there
are no effective safeguards for the vulnerable and mentally ill.
The details of this pivotal case will be provided in a second press
release tomorrow morning. The full text of the scientific paper will
also be made available at that time. Both that press release and
the scientific paper will be embargoed until 2 pm EDT, May 6.
For further information call Dr. Kenneth Stevens at (503) 481-8410
or page him at 503-599-4439, email at email@example.com