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THERE ARE TERMINALLY ILL PATIENTS WHOSE ONLY WISH IS TO DIE WITH DIGNITY.
MANY PATIENTS ARE IN SUCH TERRIBLE PAIN THAT EUTHANASIA MAY BE THE MOST HUMAN THING TO DO.
NEW MEDICINES A BEING DEVELOPED ALL THE TIME TO RELIEVE PAIN.
TODAY'S TECHNOLOGY CAN EXTEND LIFE MUCH LONGER THAN WOULD OF NATURALLY OCCURRED. WHAT'S THE REASON TO EXTEND A PERSONS SUFFERING AND DRAINING THEIR FAMILIES FINANCES.
FACT 3 10-27-99
The House passed a bill that would effectively overturn Oregon's law on physician-assisted suicide while promoting more aggressive pain relief for people near the end of life. The vote on the Pain Relief Promotion Act was 271-156, with a few dozen representatives crossing party lines. The Senate is likely to take up companion legislation before Congress adjourns next month. Sponsors, led by Illinois Republican Henry Hyde, argued that the bill would promote better pain management while preventing doctor-assisted suicide or euthanasia. The bill would amend the 1970 Controlled Substances Act to make clear that narcotics cannot be used to cause death, no matter what a state law says. But the drugs can be prescribed to control pain, even if they hasten death by depressing respiration. In the first full year the Oregon law was in effect, 15 people committed suicide under its provisions. Most were cancer patients.
In Oregon, an aide to Gov. John Kitzhaber disagreed with Hyde's comments and called the bill a ``sham.'' ``It outlaws only the most humane and medically controlled forms of physician-assisted suicide,'' said Mark Gibson, Kitzhaber's adviser on health and human services. ``If a doctor wanted to use arsenic or carbon monoxide, that would not be illegal.''