February 28, 1997
Yesterday the Ninth Circuit issued a decision in Lee v. Oregon ordering reinstatement of an Oregon measure that allows physicians to facilitate the suicides of their terminally ill patients. We are profoundly disappointed with the Court's decision. The decision strikes a blow against some of our Nation's most vulnerable citizens, devaluing their lives and placing them outside the protection of the law. We are disappointed too in the Court's failure to take into greater consideration the rights of religious and other health care providers who object on moral and conscientious grounds to physician-assisted suicide.
We are studying the Court's opinion to ensure that the legal challenge against this most unfortunate law moves forward.