PRESS RELEASE - November 7, 2001
Physicians for Compassionate Care
P.O. Box 6042
Portland, Oregon 97228
(503) 533-8154; Fax (503) 533-0429
ASHCROFT REASSURES OREGON DOCTORS ABOUT PAIN RELIEF
U.S. Attorney General, John Ashcroft, reassured all Oregon doctors
that aggressive pain management is protected. He did this in letters
addressed to both the Oregon Medical Association and Physicians for
Compassionate Care dated November 6, 2001 (attached). PCC has mailed
a copy of this letter to every doctor in Oregon.
Ashcroft's letter makes it perfectly clear that the DEA will not
be looking at physicians' medical records but only the assisted-suicide
reporting forms themselves in enforcing laws against the use of federally
controlled substances for assisted suicide in Oregon. The letter
emphasizes that aggressive pain management is protected.
"Any claims that this ruling against the use of federally controlled
substances for assisted suicides might somehow target pain care are
unfounded," said Dr. Gregory Hamilton of Physicians for Compassionate
Care. "Any such claim that the DEA may be searching through medical
records looking at prescribing practices is irresponsible and unfounded."