Justices To Review Oregon's Right-To-Die Law

Justices To Review Oregon's Right-To-Die Law
Posted by CN Staff on February 22, 2005 at 10:55:51 PT
By David G. Savage
Source: Newsday 
Washington -- The Supreme Court agreed today to hear the Bush administration's challenge to the nation's only right-to-die law, an Oregon measure that permits dying patients to seek lethal medication from their doctors.The justices said they would consider the administration's claim that Oregon's doctors violate the federal drug laws if they give their patients medication that will end their lives.
There is no "legitimate medical purpose" for prescribing such drugs, said former Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft in November, 2001, when he announced that the Bush administration would enter the case. He said that doctors who assist in such suicides should be punished by losing their privilege to write prescriptions.The court's announcement sets the stage for a showdown over the issue of physician-assisted suicide. The case of Gonzales vs. Oregon will be heard in the fall.The case also poses a test between federal power and states' rights, but with a twist.Conservatives such as Ashcroft have maintained that the federal government has the authority to determine the proper use of drugs, while the liberal-leaning U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for Oregon last year, saying that states have traditionally regulated the practice of medicine.Oregon's Death with Dignity Act was first approved as a voter initiative in 1994 and reaffirmed by the voters in 1997. It permits adults who are suffering from an incurable disease to seek lethal medication if two doctors say the patient is likely to die within six months. The doctors must also confirm the patient is competent and acting voluntarily.Under the law, 171 people have ended their lives by taking the lethal medication."Many patients are comforted by having the medication that gives them the choice to hasten their death. But it is used rarely," said Kathryn Tucker, a lawyer for Compassion in Dying in Portland, the group that sponsored the law.Congressional conservatives, led by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), urged federal action to block the Oregon law. But the Clinton administration's attorney general, Janet Reno, refused to intervene. She concluded that the state had set stringent rules to assure that only competent and dying patients could obtain the medication to end their lives.Soon after taking office in 2001, Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft reversed Reno's stand-back policy. He announced that there was "no legitimate purpose" for prescribing medications that would lead to death. And he said that the Drug Enforcement Administration could strip doctors of their right to prescribe controlled substances if they gave patients medicine to end their lives.But a federal judge in Portland and the 9th Circuit Court, based in San Francisco, ruled that Ashcroft had exceeded his authority under federal law. These decisions effectively blocked federal authorities from interfering with Oregon's doctor-assisted suicide law.In their appeal to the high court, the administration's lawyers argued that federal law permits the attorney general to "establish a single national standard" for the proper use of medications.The assisted suicide case is now the second before the high court in which the Bush administration is challenging West Coast voters on an issue of individual liberty and personal privacy.California's voters have approved a law that permits patients to use medical marijuana. The Bush administration appealed to the Supreme Court when the 9th Circuit ruled that federal agents may not raid the homes of patients who are growing marijuana for their own use.That case, Ashcroft vs. Raich, was heard in December. A decision is expected soon. From the Los Angeles Times Source: Newsday (NY)Author: David G. Savage, Times Staff WriterPublished: February 22, 2005Copyright: 2005 Newsday Inc.Contact: letters newsday.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Angel Raich v. Ashcroft News'I Really Consider Cannabis My Miracle' Wants Oregon Suicide Law Blocked in 9th, Ashcroft May Seek Review
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on February 23, 2005 at 13:32:56 PT
Thanks for the heads up on the movie. I've heard about it and will probably buy it. I have a nice collection of some good documentary type movies from last year. 
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Comment #17 posted by MikeEEEEE on February 22, 2005 at 19:24:15 PT
Good movie to check out
The Corporation, a documentary made in 2004. Go to amazon and do a search on it, it's due to release in April on DVD. If corporations continue to only be driven by profit, they will kill this planet.
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Comment #16 posted by JustGetnBy on February 22, 2005 at 18:13:49 PT
Global warming, from your mouth to Gods ear, may it be so.
I truley think that until the govt. pushes the people too far, and they can say and mean POWER TO THE PEOPLE we are toast.  my .02
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Comment #15 posted by siege on February 22, 2005 at 17:08:16 PT
medical bills
This gos hand and hand with Oregon's doctor-assisted suicide law. 
Hunter S. Thompson's last request.He probably wanted to leave some thing for his son when he died, and not have every last penny consumed by medical bills. And hurt like hell because the DEA-th can not see it's way clear to allow the people to not be in pain. 
 BY THE GOV"T operative Pharmaceuticals balancing out there projected income so they have to keep you ALIVE. This is like at Murfreeboro Tn.
A man at the VA. had A (will that said not to keep him Alive) his wife got a court order and they have him on (live support ) since and he is brain die since 1991 and they can not get him off live suport. his wife die before she could see him in 1991 about 4 days after the court order. when will they let this poor sole go home. Judge's said no every time they/ VA go to court. What good is the Gov't. in this aspect this is just one case how many more are there that we don't see, or they keep hiden so some one can get everything and make that person hurt and not let him go to his maker. 
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Comment #14 posted by global_warming on February 22, 2005 at 15:41:45 PT
re:comment 13
That is the problem, the state insists on having their pound of flesh from each and every one of us, and will not allow us to end the cycle.In the complex matrix of business and profit anticipations, neither cannabis or any other idea, that shall interfere in the commerce of this business world, can be tolerated.The "rule of law" is the ultimate basis and position of these people who cry the loudest, yet when the "law" becomes some twisted and diabolical system and "truth" and "Justice" are ignored, nay, even playfully exploited, then each and every citizen of every land, has no recourse but to subvert this system.The "Law" when weighed on the blind scales of justice, should always triumph for justice, and even the common man shall find resolve against his injustice.The abominations of the feudal systems, and monarchies of our historical past, should be studied and understood by all citizens, any laziness "will" be exploited to the common mans fault.I hope that this is a time of awakening, and that good people, in every land will come together, and embrace "freedom", "truth" and "justice", for all.Peacegw
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Comment #13 posted by goneposthole on February 22, 2005 at 15:09:46 PT
you must obtain permission from the State
If you want the right to die. No matter what right you want to have, the State has final jurisdiction. That's the name of the game; looks like it, anyways.You want to smoke some cannabis to get some relief. "You can't," says the State.Consequently, the State is looking into everything that you do. "We will," says the State.You are free to volunteer to serve your master. Your master will allow you to don a military uniform and career. Your master will provide the training and learning skills to be able to kill for the great master; you can do it all. Be all you can be.You're *free*. 
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Comment #12 posted by global_warming on February 22, 2005 at 14:31:55 PT
OT:Mellow Folks
Parental attitudes toward drugs increasingly mellow
Associated Press WriterFebruary 22, 2005, 6:05 AM ESTNEW YORK -- Although today's parents were more likely to use drugs than their predecessors, they are less likely to speak with their children about the issue and see less risk in drug experimentation, according to a new survey released Tuesday.The study of parental attitudes toward teen drug use and drugs, conducted by The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, found that barely half of the parents would be upset if their children experimented with marijuana.The number of parents who have never spoken with their children about drugs was 12 percent, double what it was just six years ago, the 17th annual Partnership survey found.While most parents no longer use drugs (11 percent reported marijuana use in the last year), they still carry attitudes fostered during their teen years. This is particularly true about parents who were teenagers in the late '70s and early '80s, when teen drug use was at a high point."While the vast majority of parents have left old habits behind, they're carrying old attitudes and beliefs forward," said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership. "If old habits die hard, the data suggests lax attitudes about drugs die even harder."Among other findings in the survey:While parents believe it's important to discuss drugs with their kids, only about three in 10 children say they've learned a lot about drug risks at home.Only 18 percent of parents believe their children have smoked marijuana, but the number of teens experimenting with pot is 39 percent.Just 21 percent of parents believe friends of their teen are smoking marijuana, but 62 percent of teens report friends who use the drug.The study was conducted among 1,205 parents nationwide, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points. The survey was conducted in households with children under the age of 18.The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, launched in 1987, is a coalition of communications professionals aimed at reducing the demand for illegal drugs.------------
Communications professionals, one has to wonder who is paying these busy little beavers?? The alcohol folks, the pharmaceutical companies, or maybe just the plain old narcotics officers association?
Parental attitudes toward drugs increasingly mellow
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on February 22, 2005 at 12:51:25 PT
Thanks ekim!
I hope many people will be able to attend MPP and NORML's Conferences. 
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Comment #10 posted by ekim on February 22, 2005 at 12:47:20 PT
Get Up, Stand Up! March 31 - April 2, 2005
Get Up, Stand Up! 
Stand Up For Your Rights! San Francisco, CA 
March 31 - April 2, 2005 special guests and very important smokers like:• best-selling author and TV travel guru Rick Steves 
• NORML's new executive director Allen St. Pierre 
• former NFL star Mark Stepnoski Rick Steves 
• WAMM's Valerie Corral 
• numerous High Times Magazine editors and Freedom Fighters of the Month 
• Drug Policy Alliance Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann 
• physicians, nurses and healthcare specialists 
• medical cannabis patients and activists 
• legal experts 
• hemp industry leaders 
• cultivation experts 
• authors 
• members of NORML's board of directors 
• and many others A complete list of speakers will be available shortly. Please check back soon.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on February 22, 2005 at 12:46:49 PT
Off Topic: AARP New Target
A New Target for Advisers to Swift VetsBy GLEN JUSTICE Published: February 21, 2005WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 - Taking its cues from the success of last year's Swift boat veterans' campaign in the presidential race, a conservative lobbying organization has hired some of the same consultants to orchestrate attacks on one of President Bush's toughest opponents in the battle to overhaul Social Security. 
The lobbying group, USA Next, which has poured millions of dollars into Republican policy battles, now says it plans to spend as much as $10 million on commercials and other tactics assailing AARP, the powerhouse lobby opposing the private investment accounts at the center of Mr. Bush's plan.Complete Article:
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Comment #8 posted by ekim on February 22, 2005 at 12:38:28 PT
MPP is Celebrating 10 Years 
Upcoming Events 
MPP is Celebrating 10 Years of Progress—Please Join Us!
Join talk show host Montel Williams and the Marijuana Policy Project for MPP's 10th Anniversary Fundraising Galas in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., to commemorate MPP’s victories over the past 10 years:May 4, 2005
Washington, D.C.May 9, 2005
Los AngelesMontel Williams, who is serving as the honorary chair of the Los Angeles event, will receive an award at the Washington event for his outstanding advocacy for medical marijuana patients. Additional celebrities, as well as members of Congress, will be attending both events. HOST COMMITTEE:Montel Williams (chair) Adam Katz 
U.S. Rep. George Miller Nora Maccoby 
U.S. Rep. John Conyers Richard Marks 
U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey Matthew Marshall 
U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee Terrence McNally 
Bart Coleman Michelle Phillips 
Candra Docherty Paul Provenza 
Dr. Joycelyn Elders Tom Robbins 
Henry Eshelman Aaron Russo 
Joseph Finneran Kipp Stroden 
Mike Gray Dr. Andrew Weil
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on February 22, 2005 at 12:33:21 PT
I too have seen what you've seen and I agree with you totally.
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Comment #6 posted by dongenero on February 22, 2005 at 12:30:22 PT
medications that lead to death
For these idiots like Ashcroft everything is so black and white. Same for Bush. Interestingly, this is a common problem with alcoholics. They are only capable of black and white thinking. No fine distinctions or grey my point, more than we may realize, morphine is given to terminal patients who are in great pain and in the final stages of life. The morphine helps diminish the pain, yes but, it also slows the breathing, depresses the nervous system and often leads to the patient letting go and passing on. Honestly, at this stage why would anyone in their right mind want to make someone suffer as much as possible until what....GOD takes them? Please, I've watched loved ones suffer horrible terminal illness and there reaches a point where this approach is compassionate, loving, and the right thing to do. Anyone who says otherwise probably hasn't lived the experience.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on February 22, 2005 at 12:08:59 PT
Ironic isn't it?
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Comment #4 posted by MikeEEEEE on February 22, 2005 at 11:57:17 PT
Another point to make....
Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft reversed Reno's stand-back policy. He announced that there was "no legitimate purpose" for prescribing medications that would lead to death.Vioxx a drug known to cause cardiac deaths, and is back on the market. There are rules for big drug corporations, than there are rules for personal freedom.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on February 22, 2005 at 11:46:05 PT
Right To Die
When someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness and they know it could be a long and painful death it is almost unbearable. Fear of pain is why a terminal patient wants this options. More then likely a person will slip into a coma and the choice won't need to be made and then the end will happen naturally. It should the right of a human being to be a master of his own destiny. Let people make up their own minds. Let the family, minister, social worker and whoever else is involved help the person make a wise decision.
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Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on February 22, 2005 at 11:38:02 PT
If only they cared about others feelings
If only these lawmakers saw the suffering these people go through. These laws were created for the living, not the dieing, it's very selfish to impose only your own will.
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Comment #1 posted by Taylor121 on February 22, 2005 at 11:11:01 PT
Texans, email your committee members
We got both marijuana bills in committee, so if your reps are any of these, or you know of any people that live in these districts, it is imperative that you contact them right away to support H.B. 254 and 658!Chairman
Representative Terry KeelCo Chair
Representative Debbie RiddleRepresentative Aaron Pena
Representative Terri Hodge 
Representative Paul Moreno 
Representative Mary Denny 
Representative Juan Escobar 
Representative Richard Raymond 
Representative Elvira Reyna
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