Prevent Passage of the Pain Relief Promotion Act...I SENT MY LETTER!!!

From: Helen Dynda (
Wed Mar 21 00:37:18 2001

[] Prevent Passage of the Pain Relief Promotion Act....I SENT MY LETTER!!!

On Tuesday, March 20th I sent my letter to HELP PREVENT the passage of the Pain Relief Promotion Act.

This was so easy to do!! PLEASE take a few minutes and send your letter too!!

Helen Dynda

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[] Prevent Passage of the Pain Relief Promotion Act...


Under current law, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has the authority to enforce federal law preventing the illegal manufacturing or dispensing of controlled substances, but does not have the authority to review a physician's medical determination of what drug is most appropriate to alleviate a particular patient's pain. Under legislation that has already passed the House and that may soon come to a vote in the Senate, commonly known as the Pain Relief Promotion Act, DEA agents would gain new federal authority to monitor and regulate physicians' clinical management of their patients' pain care. If the DEA determines that the intent of a prescribing physician was not to relieve pain, but to hasten death, the physician would be subject to federal prosecution and a jail term of not less than 20 years. These new powers are likely to have a chilling effect on the willingness of physicians - many of whom already express reluctance to use powerful narcotics -- to prescribe necessary medicines to suffering patients.

Patients must be able to select appropriate courses of care based on the opinion of their physicians without any outside pressure. They need to know that their doctors will be allowed to treat them without the constant threat of federal prosecution. After all, physicians' treatment determinations depend on numerous physical and medical factors that doctors are educated for years to observe and address. Law enforcement agents, while very effective in law enforcement activities, are unlikely to possess the training and knowledge to judge doctor's medical treatment decisions.

Originally, this legislation was introduced to reverse an Oregon law that allows terminally ill patients to obtain physician-assisted suicide. Most groups opposing the bill, however, DO NOT SUPPORT assisted suicide. If Congress believes it must act on the assisted suicide issue, it should find a means of addressing it that does not punish patients who seek appropriate medical treatment for pain.

Recently, the Pain Relief Promotion Act was added to tax-cut legislation and was approved for the second time by the House of Representatives. The Senate could take up this legislation AT ANY TIME. It is important to act now by contacting Members of Congress and the President to ask

( 1.) that they oppose the Pain Relief Promotion Act as a stand-alone measure and

( 2.) that they support removing the provisions from ANY legislation in which it appears in the remaining days of the 106th Congress.


Your help is needed today to prevent Congress from passing the Pain Relief Promotion Act and thereby protect the rights of patients to receive the best, most appropriate care from their physicians without the fear of intervention by federal law enforcement officials. Your representative and senators need to hear from you. It is vital that they understand that this legislation would prevent patients both in their hometowns and around the country from receiving the medical care that they require.

This year's congressional session is almost over, so please visit our Legislative Advocacy Center NOW and e-mail your representative and senators TODAY!

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NOTE: If the above URL was not highlighted or you prefer to go through the process from beginning to the end, these steps will lead you to the place where you can actually send your letter to your Senator(s) and Representative(s). PLEASE DO THIS!! YOUR INPUT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!

1.) Prevent Passage of the Pain Relief Promotion Act.

* Enter:

* Click: Health Care Debate in Washington

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* Click: Choose: Prevent Passage of the Pain Relief Promotion Act.

2.) Take Action: Legislative Alert

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* Select: Protect Patients' Access to Palliative Care

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