Physicians for Compassionate Care Education Foundation




All articles are print-friendly


The “Emotional and Psychological Effects of Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia on Participating Physicians” by Dr. Kenneth R. Stevens, Jr., MD


'A Doctor-Assisted Disaster for Medicine'.  An opinion article by Dr. William Toffler in the Wall Street Journal.

March 2016 Posting

Therapeutic Response to Assisted Suicide Request

The authors review the first publicly reported case of legal assisted suicide in the United States and discuss possible clinical responses other than assistance in suicide. Psychiatric observers have noted that acceptance of assisted suicide or euthanasia as a medical option has resulted in loss of knowledge about how to respond to suicidal ideation in the seriously ill. 


March 25, 2015

Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D, of The Heritage Foundation, has written an excellent article titled:"Always Care, Never Kill: How Physician-Assisted Suicide Endangers the Weak, Corrupts Medicine, Compromises the Family, and Violates Human Dignity and Equality"   This article is online at:

March 18, 2015


"Concentration of Oregon's Assisted Suicide Prescriptions & Deaths from a Small Number of Prescribing Physicians" by Kenneth R. Stevens, Jr. MD.

October 22, 2013


"Terminal Illness: What does it mean?" by Dr. Kenneth R. Stevens, Jr.  Dr. Stevens wrote this article for the Patients Rights Council Update sent by Rita Marker.

March 21, 2010


Dr. Kenneth Stevens of PCCEF writes an Opinion Editorial for the Oregonian Online in regards to the latest statistics on physician-assisted suicide in Oregon. Please read his article, "Cornering the market on physician-assisted suicide".

(Published 3/10/10)

March 13, 2009


PCCEF has concerns about the 2008 Oregon Assisted Suicide Report, please see comments by Dr. Ken Stevens, Vice President PCCEF.


October 23, 2008


Jean Echlin, the past vice president of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and a palliative care pioneer in Canada has written an excellent article entitled: "Death With Dignity or Obscenity". This article was specifically written with the hope that it is read by voters in Washington State. (Published 10/21/08)



September 25, 2008

Dr. Kenneth Stevens’ and Dr. William Toffler’s Opinion Article “Assisted Suicide: Conspiracy and Control” was posted on The Oregonian’s online editorial section “The Stump” on 9/24/2008.  They comment on The Oregonian editorial of 9/20/2008 : “Washington state’s assisted suicide measure: Don’t go there”.

They comment on the following two realities:  first, the group controlling assisted suicide in Oregon is also the group controlling what the public is told; second, the claim that Oregon is a leader in improved end-of-life care because of assisted suicide is inaccurate.” 

September 25, 2008

Further documentation for Dr. Stevens' and Dr. Toffler's Opinion Article "Assisted Suicide: Conspiracy and Control"

August 25, 2008


Dr. Kenneth Stevens comments on two ways physician assisted suicide adversely affects the health of our society.  Here is a summary of how the issue of pain control is being used as a scare tactic by pro-suicide groups.  Here are notes by Dr. Stevens on how the issue of inequality in healthcare needs to shape the way we think about assisted suicide. 

Pain and Physician-Assisted Suicide – What is Going On?

Inequality in Society and Physician Assisted Suicide



July 24, 2008


PCCEF physicians in Oregon reflect on the local attitudes about physician-assisted suicide. 


June 10, 2008


Oregon Rationing Cancer Treatment but Offering Assisted Suicide to Cancer Patients Paying to Die but not to Live

Imagine your health insurance company will not pay for the expense of beneficial cancer treatment, but will pay for the expense of physician-assisted suicide.  Read Dr. Kenneth Stevens' article about two patients who face this dilemma.

May 16, 2008



by Herbert Hendin and Kathleen Foley

This Article, published in the Michigan Law Review, examines the Oregon
Death with Dignity Act from a medical perspective. Drawing on case
studies and information provided by doctors, families, and other care
givers, it finds that the seemingly reasonable safeguards for the care
and protection of terminally ill patients written into the Oregon law
are being circumvented. The problem lies primarily with the Oregon
Public Health Division (OPHD), which is charged with monitoring the law.
OPHD does not collect the information it would need to effectively
monitor the law and in its actions and publications acts as the defender
of the law rather than as the protector of the welfare of terminally ill
patients. This paper makes explicit suggestions and is a very thoughtful
review of the Oregon Experience. 

April 23, 2008


It is a tragedy that none of the 49 physician-assisted suicide patients in Oregon in 2007 received a psychiatric evaluation. 

March 20, 2008


Commentary on recent article published about physician-assisted suicide in Oregon

February 22, 2008


Euthanasia Prevention Coalition International calls for action on euthanasia movement in Luxembourg

January 24, 2008


PCCEF announces a "Take the Pledge" campaign

December 27, 2007


Five Oregonians to Remember: Five Oregonians for whom the tragedy of doctor-assisted suicide was all too real

November 20, 2007


PCCEF has serious concerns about the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) Board of Director's recent position statement regarding "Physician-Assisted Death

October 31, 2007


10-years of physician-assisted suicide in Oregon - commentary by Dr. Kenneth Stevens.

September 10, 2007


PCCEF concerned about Oregon

August 9, 2007


Assisted suicide legalization is failing:  Three major failures of the assisted suicide movement in 2007Assisted suicide in Oregon remains an anomaly.

June 11, 2007


A review of the final report on the 2006 Winston Churchill Fellowship experience of end of life care and assisted suicide in the Pacific Northwest.  Please see the PCCEF summary and the original report: "Physician-Assisted Suicide vs. Palliative Care: A Tale of Two Cities" by Dr. David Jeffrey FRCPE.

May 14, 2007


An article written by Chris Weinkopf , the LA Daily News' editorial-page editor regarding the persistant efforts of California legislator Levine to pass a physician-assisted suicide bill in California.

April 30, 2007


A letter by Dr. William Petty recently  submitted to the editor of NEJM in response to a recent article (Curlin et al.) about physician conscience and controversial clinical practices.

February 5, 2007


Letter of testimony to the Hawaiian Legislature. 
Dr. Bentz submits a letter of testimony to the State of Hawaii's Legislature, specifically the House Health Committee hearing on the Physician-Assisted Suicide bill (HB 675)

December 5, 2006


Dr. Charles Bentz, PCCEF president, recently submitted this letter to the editor of the Oregonian.

November 2006

In an effort to educate the physicians in Oregon regarding the dangers of participating in physician-assisted suicide, PCCEF recently sent abstracts of these two articles to all physicians in Oregon.

October 24, 2006

Physicians for Compassionate Care Education Foundation is very concerned regarding the influence that proponents of physician-assisted suicide have on the Oregon State Department of Human Services. Read more on our response...  

October 17, 2006

Oregon Department of Human Services Against Assisted Suicide!

A blog written by Wesley J. Smith in response to the Oregon Department of Human Services decision to change "physician-assisted suicide" to "physician-assisted death".

October 17, 2006

Changing names, changing perceptions.

Comments written by Alex Schadenberg of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition in response to the Oregon Department of Human Services decision to change "physician-assisted suicide" to "physician-assisted death".

August 30, 2006

Physician-Assisted Suicide - Oregon - an anomaly; not a harbinger

An editorial paper written by Drs. Stevens, Toffler and Bentz discussing the recent defeat of physician-assisted suicide bills.


July 17, 2006

Dr. William Toffler and Dr. Kenneth Stevens response to the article entitled "The final choice" (Hospital Doctor, 1 June 2006) by Ms. Ann Jackson, Executive Director of the Oregon Hospice Association.

May 17, 2006
Dr. Miles Edwards, late PCCEF board member, recently published article- Opiods and Benzodiazepines Appear Paradoxically to Delay Inevitable Death After Ventilator Withdrawal.
This article, published in the Journal of Palliative Care, (Vol 21:4/2005, pages 299-302) is one of the first trials showing that appropriate use of morphine in critically ill patients can prolong life as well as provide palliation and is an important contribution to the medical literature.

May 8, 2006
"First do no harm" a clear line in law and medical ethics
An excellent article on Assisted Suicide in the United Kingdom by Professor Ilora Finlay, President Elect of the Royal Society of Medicine. Reprinted from JR Soc Med 2006 99:214-215

April 10 , 2006
Emotional and Psychological Effects of Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia on Participating Physicians. This article, published in Issues in Law & Medicine, Vol 21, pages 187-200, Spring 2006, is a review and evaluation of medical and public literature regarding the reported emotional and psychological effects of physician assisted suicide and euthanasia on the involved physicians.

October 11, 2005
The Consequences of Physician-Assisted Suicide an oral and written presentation of Dr. Stevens at a Community Conversation Panel at the the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon on October 11, 2005

October 5, 2005
Why is Oregon Special?, by Kenneth R. Stevens, M.D., regarding the Oregon issue before the U.S. Supreme Court, as published in USA TODAY, October 5, 2005

June 27, 2005
N. Gregory Hamilton and Catherine A. Hamilton,
Competing Paradigms of Response to Assisted Suicide Requests in Oregon, Am. J. Psychiatry, Jun 2005; 162: 1060 - 1065.

June 14, 2005
A written copy of an invited presentation given by Dr. Kenneth R. Stevens, Jr., M.D. to the British House of Lords on June 14, 2005.

June 11, 2005
An amicus brief was filed in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Physicians for Compassionate Care Educational Foundation entitled Gonzales v. Oregon, U.S. No. 04-623 (2004):363-364

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. Stevens and Toffler have set the record straight...

April 14, 2005
A written copy of the oral testimony presented by Dr. Kenneth Stevens, M.D., on April 14. 2005, to the Vermont House Human Services Committee Hearing on H-168, a proposal to legalize physician-assisted suicide in Vermont.

February 11, 2005
Testimony of Dr. Kenneth Stevens, M.D. to the Joint Hearing of the California Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-term Care and the Assembly Judiciary Committee on February 4, 2005.

February 5, 2005
A written copy of the oral testimony presented by Dr. William Petty, M.D., on February 5, 2005, to the Hawaii House of Representatives Committee on Health Hearing on HB 1454.

February 5, 2005
An expanded written copy of the oral testimony presented by Dr. Kenneth Stevens, M.D., on February 5, 2005, to the Hawaii House of Representatives Committee on Health Hearing on HB 1454.

December 10, 2004
Testimony of Physicians for Compassionate Care Officers before The Select Committee of the House of Lords on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill, December 10, 2004
Testimony of N.Gregory Hamilton, M.D. before the Select Committee - House of Lords
Testimony of Kenneth R. Stevens, Jr., M.D. before the Select Committee - House of Lords
Testimony of William L. Toffler, M.D. before the Select Committee - House of Lords

November 24, 2004
Lessons from Oregon

May 6 , 2004
Competing Paradigms of Responding to Assisted-Suicide Requests in Oregon: Case Report

March 12 , 2004
Latest Assisted Suicide Report Should be a Cause for Alarm.

February 25, 2004
Why Physician-assisted Suicide is Wrong and Dangerous.

February 4, 2004
Oregon Physician-Assisted Suicide" - Theory vs Practice

April 2, 2003
(ACP-ASIM) published their position paper regarding Physician-Assisted Suicide in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 7 August 2001, Vol 135, pages 209-216. This paper was authored by Lois Snyder, JD and Daniel Sulmasy, MD, PhD, for the Ethics and Human Rights Committee of that organization.
In this important statement, the organization "does not support the legalization of physician-assisted suicide." They state, "The routine practice of physician-assisted suicide raises serious ethical and other concerns. Legalization would undermine the patient-physician relationship and the trust necessary to sustain it; alter the medical profession's role in society; and endanger the value our society places on life, especially on the lives of disabled, incompetent, and vulnerable individuals. The ACP-ASIM remains thoroughly committed to improving care for patients at the end of life."
This is an important statement from this prestigious medical professional organization.

August 2002
Read the excellent piece entitled "Doctors of Death: Kaiser Solicits its Doctors to Kill," by Wesley J. Smith, in National Review Online, August 19, 2002.

July 28 , 2002
Compassionate Care Conference Set for Friday, September 20
The Physicians for Compassionate Care conference, "Enhancing Life of the Seriously Ill," will be held Friday, September 20, 2002. State-of-the-art pain treatment and palliative care will be discussed by national experts. The conference is intended for health care professionals of all disciplines. You may register by calling 503-533-8154. Providence Health Care System will join PCC in sponsoring the conference. CME credit will be available.

June 26 , 2002
National Recommendations for Suicide Reporting Established
Guidelines for responsible reporting on suicides have been established. The recommendations were developed at a consensus conference including the Office of the Surgeon General, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization... More...

May 2002
Assisted-Suicide Ruling Wide Open for Appeal

March 27 , 2002
Power Over Pain Just Published
Book Review: Doctor Eric Chevlen and attorney Wesley Smith have teamed up to write this fast moving and fascinating book about pain and its relief. More...

February 15 , 2002
Letter to the Editor of The New England Journal of Medicine

February 7, 2002
Bias Makes Travesty of Assisted-Suicide Report


February 6, 2002
U.S. Assisted-Suicide Activists Export Suicide to the Depressed in Ireland: Not Dead Yet Calls for Extradition of Perpetrators
Two American assisted-suicide activists have been reported by the Irish press to have been involved in the suicide of a depressed woman, Rosemary Toole Gilhooley. This unfortunate woman was depressed and did not have a known serious physical problem. More...

August 26, 2001
JAMA Right-to-Die Piece Was a Fake

The PCC Summary Statement to the Alaska Supreme Court regarding Kevin Sampson and Jane Doe, Appellants, v. State of Alaska, Appellee

August 25 , 2001
Here's the full text of a letter to the editor of USA today written by Dr. Hamilton:
Letters Editor
USA Today
"The Painful Truth of Hospice" (August 20, 2001) provides a much needed public alert. It's warning about financial pressures on hospice organizations compromising patient care must be heeded by all of us. One HMO I know of restricts funds available for home health care, including hospice, to a meager $1,000, total. This same HMO fully funds assisted suicide as an alternative to medical care in my state of Oregon. This is the only state that allows assisted suicide; but inadequate hospice care can lead to desperation and suffering anywhere. Responsible hospice organizations should welcome the clear light your article sheds on a serious problem. Any conscientious medical organization wants to recognize problems and correct them, not hushthem up. Thanks to USA Today for responsible reporting on this subject of life and death importance.
N. Gregory Hamilton, M.D.
Physicians for Compassionate Care
Portland, Oregon

December 31 , 2000
A new newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 3. has been posted.

December 6 , 2000
AMA Reaffirms Support of Pain Relief Promotion Act.

November 27, 2000
PCC Letter to AMA Supporting Pain Relief Promotion Act

November 3, 2000
USDEA data on per capita morphine use in various states

October 26, 2000
It looks like the PRPA will be voted on soon. Read this urgent request from Gene Tarne of AIPC to contact your senators.

October 22, 2000
In late August, 71 percent of Maine voters surveyed said they supported assisted suicide. Not any more!

October 6, 2000
Two urgent alerts have been sent out to contact Trent Lott and Tom Daschle to urge action on the Pain Relief Promotion Act. Your help is needed immediately!

September 29, 2000
"Assisted suicide puts patients at risk" - a letter by Dr. Hamilton published in the Washington Times.

September 17, 2000
All past PCC Newsletters have now been put online.

September 2, 2000
Action Alert! PCC URGENTLY needs you to write to your US Senators letters favoring the Nickles/Lieberman Pain Relief Promotion Act and opposing any filibuster attempt to block a vote. Further instructions and a sample letter can be found here.

August 29, 2000
Action Alert! Urge US Senators to support the Pain Relief Promotion Act! Read the request from Americans for Integrity in Palliative Care on how to contact the Senate and push for this legislation.

August 26, 2000
Nader joins Bush and Lieberman in supporting the Pain Relief Promotion Act.

April 25, 2000
Pain Relief Promotion Act (HR2260), Written Testimony of Physicians for Compassionate Care to United States Senate Judiciary Committee, April 25, 2000

June 7, 2000
Pain Relief Should Be Nonpartisan

Analysis of the Pain Relief Promotion Act from Americans for Integrity in Palliative Care

Advertising Suicide is Irresponsible

May 30, 2000
Senator Ron Wyden's claims of opposing assisted suicide are called into question by the revelation that one of his chief advisers on this issue is actually James L. Werth, a national leader in the assisted suicide and euthanasia movements. Click here for the complete Educational Alert.

April 25 , 2000
Senator Smith testified in favor of the PRPA today. Read the whole story here and consider contacting his office to show your suppport.

April 25, 2000
Pain Relief Promotion Act (HR2260), Written Testimony of Physicians for Compassionate Care to United States Senate Judiciary Committee, April 25, 2000

April 24 , 2000
Our telephone campaign was heard by Senator Smith -- loud and clear! Now, he needs to keep hearing from us. Even if you called last week, call again this week. His phone needs to keep ringing. Here is a sample message for this week. Feel free to use this one or to make up your own. Have your friends and family call, too. Please call (202-224-3753) immediately. Or you can use this sample letter to mail or fax to his office.

April 12 , 2000
There is an urgent need for all PCC members and friends to call the office of Senator Gordon Smith immediately. All you need to do is call 202-224-3753 and tell his office who you are, where you are from, and that you are "calling Senator Smith to urge him to contact Senator Hatch to encourage him to bring the Pain Relief Promotion Act to a vote in his committee this Thursday." For more details read this.

March 29 , 2000
The Pain Relief Promotion Act is very likely to be marked up in the Senate Judiciary as early as this Thursday (3/30/00). These committee members need to hear of our support for the Pain Relief Promotion Act by this Thursday if at all possible. Volume of letters is more important than eloquence at this point. We hope you can fax letters by Thursday. If you get delayed, still send one as soon as you can, for two reasons: the committee hearing could potentially be delayed a week and committee members need to hear from us again before the vote of the full Senate. A sample letter with addresses and fax numbers are attached.

March 19 , 2000
Reminder - Physicians for Compassionate Care SPRING BANQUET and LECTURE. You are invited to attend PCC's 4th annual spring banquet and lecture to be held at the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel, April 1, 2000. For more information, see the full announcement here.

March 16 , 2000
The Pain Relief Promotion Act is at a crucial turning point. We need members immediately to write to both Dr. Tom Reardon of the AMA and Senator Orrin Hatch, who chairs the Senate committee where the bill is being considered. Sample letters making the needed crucial points are provided here. You can paraphrase them or use them verbatim. Time is the most important factor. These two key individuals need to hear from us now.

March 4 , 2000
The Annual PCC Spring Banquet will be held on Saturday, April 1 at the Sheraton Airport Hilton in Portland.  J. Wesley Smith, an expert of the euthanasia movement, will speak on "Forced Exit". Also, the Fourth Annual Palliative Care Conference "Enhancing life at the End of Life" will be held on Saturday, September 30th at the Oregon Convention Center. The nationally-known hospice director, Dr. Walter Hunter, will be the keynote speaker. For more information, see the full announcement here.

February 18 , 2000
The Oregon Health Division will release its report of the second year's experiment with assisted suicide, as early as Wednesday, February 23, 2000. Read the "Oregon Assisted Suicide Report Anticipated by PCC" news item to get a sad reminder of last year's report.

January 3/10, 2000

Pain law: A better end, The Pain Relief Promotion Act is an antidote to physician-assisted suicide. AMNews editorial. Jan. 3/10, 2000

Exerpts from Reference Committee B report

December 2, 1999

Commentary: Doctor-assisted suicide affects us all - negatively

November 1999
KILLING GRANDMA Editorial, Brainstorm Magazine, November, 1999

PCC physician update: Pain Relief Promotion Act

DEA shows no "Chilling Effect"

October 25, 1999
Oregon patient with dementia given suicide: Decision falls upon HMO administrator

Vote Expected Wednesday on PRPA - Call/Fax Your Representatives

October 2, 1999
Some Notes on Treating Depression and Anxiety in the Seriously Ill

June 24, 1999
Pain Relief Promotion Act of 1999, Testimony of Physicians for Compassionate Care to Subcommittee on the Constitution Committee on the Judiciary U.S. House of Representatives, June 24, 1999


  Return to top  
Site by Lumen Web Design