OSU ethics program publishes essays on assisted suicide


CORVALLIS - Some of the leading voices in the ongoing debate over assisted suicide have contributed original essays and editorials for a 16-page publication produced by the Program for Ethics, Science and the Environment at Oregon State University.

Distribution of the publication began this week and already the OSU program has received more than 150 requests for the essays from people and organizations throughout the world, including the American Medical Association.

"There is substantial interest in this compilation, especially in light of the upcoming vote on Measure 51," said Courtney Campbell, director of the OSU program.

Among those contributing essays arguing for assisted suicide are Barbara Coombs Lee, a family nurse practitioner and attorney who was chief petitioner of Measure 16 in 1994; Dr. Peter Goodwin, an M.D. at Oregon Health Sciences University and head of Physicians for Death With Dignity; and Eli Stutzman, a Portland attorney who has represented the Death with Dignity Act before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Essays arguing against physician-assisted suicide were contributed by Greg Hamilton, an M.D. who is co-founder of Physicians for Compassionate Care, and Catherine Hamilton, a mental health counselor; and Karen Bell, a registered nurse and hospice director for Providence Home Services Hospice.

Other persons contributing essays include David Sarasohn, associate editor of The Oregonian; Ted Falk, coordinator of Oregon Health Decisions; Ann Jackson, director of Oregon Hospice; the Rev. Elizabeth Oettinger, senior pastor of First Congressional Church in Corvallis; the Rev. Mark A. Duntley Jr., a Presbyterian minister and dean of the chapel at Lewis and Clark College; the Rev. Jerome R. Wernow, consulting director for the Northwest Center for Bioethics; Myriam T. Coppens, coordinator of the Hemlock Society of Oregon; the Mid-Valley Physician Assisted Suicide Interest Group; Kathleen D. Moore, who chairs the Department of Philosophy at OSU; Joan Woolfrey, a philosophy instructor at OSU; and Campbell.

Copies of the publication are available by calling the Department of Philosophy at OSU, 541-737-2955.