ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
For week ended April 02, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 29Mar00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

LDS Senator Faces Dilemna Over Physician Assisted-Suicide
(Oregon Republicans aren't pushing Smith to oppose assisted suicide)
Portland OR Oregonian (AP) 27Mar00 N1
The Associated Press

SALEM, OREGON -- Senator Gordon Smith, an LDS Church member and conservative republican, is facing a difficult political situation. The U.S. Senate will soon vote on the Pain Relief Promotion Act, which would effectively keep doctors from using Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law. As a republican and a conservative, and as an LDS Church member, Smith would normally be expected to support the law, and end the Oregon practice. But with a majority of his constituents opposed to the measure, Smith could face a political backlash if he ends physician-assisted suicide.

Oregon conservatives, who appreciate the difficulty of Smith's position, aren't putting pressure on him as a result. State Senator Eileen Qutub, who blasted Governor John Kitzhaber over his support of assisted-suicide, isn't saing anything to Smith, "Gordon is a good friend. I respect him so much. I don't want to be the one with the bony finger pointing at him. That's something Gordon has to decide for himself."

University of Portland political scientists Jim Moore says that these politicians have instead aimed to change public opinion, "They know at the state level, assisted suicide stays. They're acknowledging that whatever happens at the national level, Oregon remains strongly committed to assisted suicide, and they have to live with that."

Smith hasn't said what he will do. An active LDS Church member, he opposes assisted suicide, but is torn because of his constituent's feelings. But he remains the only member of Oregon's delegation to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that hasn't come out against the bill.

The LDS Church encouraged members in Oregon to vote for a 1997 referendum attempting to reverse the 1994 law, which was also passed by referendum. Oregon is the only state that has allowed physician-assisted suicide, but Michigan, Washington and California have rejected it, and Maine has a state-wide referendum on the issue on November's ballot.

The Pain Relief Promotion Act would prohibit the use of federally controlled substances in physician-assisted suicides. A similar measure passed the House last year, and the U.S. Senate's Judiciary Committee, headed by LDS Church member and Senator Orrin Hatch, scheduled a hearing on the bill for Thursday.


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information