Physician Assisted Suicide Clears First Committee

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Both supporters and opponents of physician assisted suicide crowded a large committee room for the testimony before the Assembly Judiciary Committee. Former Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts testified in favor of the bill and says the law in her state has improved other end-of-life care issues."

"Vastly improved pain management has allowed more quality time for patients and their loved ones and even prevented a number of violent suicides.”

 The bill’s authors say the measure is about patient autonomy, and the right to privacy.  But Republican committee member Ray Haynes says attention should be paid to a potential “slippery slope”.

 “Because every single place this has been tried, it has turned into an involuntary termination of the life of the chronically or terminally ill or the physically or mentally disabled.”

Five members of the nine-person committee voted in favor of the measure, allowing it to proceed to a fiscal committee.