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PRESS RELEASE - April 25, 2005

OREGON HEALTH & SCIENCE UNIVERSITY (OHSU) PHYSICIANS HAVE CORRECTED A PREVIOUSLY REPORTED ERRONEOUS CLAIM THAT THE RATE OF PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE IN OREGON IS LOWER THAN IN OTHER STATES.

Drs. Kenneth Stevens and William Toffler, both faculty members at OHSU, have reported the need for this correction in the most recent issue of The Journal of Clinical Ethics (Winter 2004). In their clarifying commentary, Drs. Stevens and Toffler set the record straight, emphasizing the following key points:

  • The rate of physician-assisted suicide in states other than Oregon is not known.
  • There is no evidence that Oregon has a rate of physician-assisted suicide that is less than that of other states.
  • There is no evidence that legalization of assisted suicide in Oregon has decreased the rate of physician-assisted suicide in Oregon.

The details of this communication appeared in a Commentary Article entitled "Comment on Ganzini and Dobscha regarding Comparing Rates of Physician-Assisted Suicide in Oregon with that of Other States", in The Journal of Clinical Ethics, Vol. 15, No. 4 (2004): pp 363-364. Furthermore, the authors of the original commentary, Drs. Ganzini and Dobscha, have acknowledged their error in this same issue.

The article has also been posted on the www.pccef.org website.

For further information call Dr. Kenneth Stevens, Professor and Chairman of Radiation Oncology, OHSU at (503) 481-8410 or page him at 503-599-4439, email at stevensk@ohsu.edu


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Physicians for Compassionate Care Educational Foundation