Conservative US Senator Sam Brownback has introduced a bill which would bar doctors from prescribing federally controlled drugs to be used in assisted suicide. This is aimed directly at Oregon, where 37 patients died legally with the help of their doctor in 2004. "When the law permits killing as a medical ‘treatment’, society’s moral guidelines are blurred, and killing could gain acceptance as a solution for the chronically ill or vulnerable," said Brownback. He does not expect the bill to become law this year, but he wants to use it as "a rallying point for those opposed to assisted suicide." (It might also rally conservatives to his presidential ambitions.)
Predictably, the prospect of a Washington do-gooder trampling Oregon law underfoot nettled the Seattle Times. It sputtered in an editorial that the senator from Kansas was not the third senator for Oregon and should not try to lead it down "the yellow brick road of righteousness".
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