Bill to ban assisted suicide on hold

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 9, 2006

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Sen. Ron Wyden (D, Ore.) last month placed a hold on a bill that would bar physicians from prescribing federally controlled substances for the purpose of helping terminally ill patients commit suicide. The hold means that the Assisted Suicide Prevention Act, proposed by Sen. Sam Brownback (R, Kan.) in August, needs 60 senators' approval to proceed.

"The government ought not attempt to override or preempt the individual and the family values, religious beliefs and wishes," Wyden said.

Brownback's bill came in response to a January Supreme Court ruling that U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft exceeded his authority when he issued a 2001 directive stating that physician-assisted suicide was not a "legitimate medical purpose" for which doctors could prescribe federally controlled drugs.

"When the law permits killing as a medical 'treatment,' society's moral guidelines are blurred," Brownback said when introducing the bill. The AMA, whose policy says physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the doctor's role as healer, has not taken a position on the Brownback bill.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn