PRESS RELEASE - May 16, 2006
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE UNITED KINGDOM
The members of Physicians for Compassionate Care Education Foundation
(PCCEF) applaud and commend the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament House
of Lords in their 148 to 100 vote decision of May 12, 2006, in opposing
a physician-assisted suicide bill--a bill based on Oregon's physician-assisted
The majority of the House of Lords heeded the concerns expressed
by major physician organizations in the UK which have documented
their member's opposition to the legalization of assisted suicide.
For example, 95% of Palliative Care specialists have indicated their
solid opposition to the legalization of assisted suicide. Further,
a recent poll of the Royal College of Physicians Fellows and Members
resulted in 73% being opposed to change in legislation that would
legalize physician-assisted suicide. As such, the leadership of each
of these Colleges is on record in opposition to the legalization
of assisted suicide.
The medical and legislative leaders of the UK have recognized the
harm and dangers of legalization of assisted suicide. They recognize
that it is far better to put efforts into promoting palliative care
and hospice care, rather than in giving doctors the legal right to
participate in directly causing the death of patients. They recognize
that the so-called "safeguards" of Oregon's assisted suicide law
are not always being followed.
Again, we congratulate the medical and legislative leaders of the
UK in their decision not to follow the example of Oregon's misguided
assisted suicide law.
The members of PCCEF affirm the ethic that all human life has inherent
value and promote compassionate care for all severely-ill patients.
At the same time, PCCEF is opposed to doctor-assisted suicide as
an inherent conflict of interest which: undermines trust in the patient-physician
relationship; alters the role of the physician in society from the
traditional one of healer to executioner; and, endangers the value
that society places on life, specifically for those who are most
For further information contact Charles J. Bentz MD, FACP, President:
Physicians for Compassionate Care Education Foundation at (503) 216-7496
or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org