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- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Federal Aided Suicide Law, Euthanasia
A debate has started on the use of federal drug laws and regulations to aided suicide - a debate which may lead to a brand new federal law to counter Oregon's experiment in physician-aided dying. Last November the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) came to the conclusion that aiding a suicide isn't a "legitimate medical purpose" for using government controlled drugs, which using such drugs to help a suicide might cost a health care provider the government DEA registration permitting her or him to prescribe controlled substances. But on June 5, U.S. attorney general Jesse Reno corrected the DEA policy, ruling the Controlled Substances Act "doesn't authorize the DEA to prosecute, in order to revoke the DEA registration of, a health care provider that has aided inside a suicide in compliance with Or law" [page 4].
The lawyer general added the DEA could act against doctors in claims that haven't legalized aided suicide, as well as Or when "a health care provider does not adhere to condition methods by doing this.Inch By ruling the DEA would positively help Or enforce its policy of permitting some aided suicides while forbidding others, Ms. Reno designed a congressional response inevitable.
At the time from the attorney general's ruling, Reps Henry Hyde (R-IL) and James Oberstar (D-MN) introduced H.R. 4006, the Lethal Substance Abuse Prevention Act of 1998. Senator Don Nickles (R-OK), the Assistant Majority Leader from the Senate, introduced a Senate version (S. 2151) four days later. Both bills would clarify the Controlled Substances Act by proclaiming that a clinical specialist who misuses controlled substances to help suicides may lose their DEA registration. The debts distinguish aided suicide from legitimate utilization of drugs for discomfort management, using language endorsed through the Ama (AMA) this past year included in the Aided Suicide Funding Restriction Act. A health care provider looked into through the DEA may have to have a hearing before an advisory panel of medical professionals, who are able to advise the DEA on whether their actions are in conjuction with the legitimate reason for controlling discomfort.
Regardless of the sponsors' dedication to encouraging legitimate utilization of drugs for discomfort control, the AMA and a few other medical groups oppose the legislation. While reaffirming that aided suicide is "incompatible using the physician's role as healbot, " the AMA has somewhat confusingly assaulted the legislation like a "federal invasion" into "the concept of medicine." It adds the legislation have a "chilling effect" on using drugs for discomfort control.