March 15, 2005
CONTACT: Rebecca Harmon
Leading Bioethicist To Argue Against Passage of H.R. 1151 -- Triggered by Terri Schiavo Case
(Philadelphia, PA) -- Arthur L. Caplan, PhD,
Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics at the University of
Pennsylvania School of Medicine, will testify at 2:00 PM tomorrow
before the U.S. House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee against
the passage of House Bill 1151 -- which would require federal intervention
in some termination-of-life-support cases now handled by state courts.
If passed, the proposed legislation would effectively delay or prevent
the removal of a feeding tube from Terri Schiavo -- a measure recently
authorized, once again, by the Florida court system. According to Caplan,
"If enacted, the proposed legislation will threaten the ability of
Americans to exercise a well-established right to refuse medical treatment.
If enacted, it threatens to deny this right to those who are unable to
communicate their wishes and values about medical care. And the proposed
legislation inappropriately calls for the intrusion of Federal courts
into matters that have historically been given to states to manage."
PENN Medicine is a $2.7 billion enterprise dedicated
to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and
high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of
Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first
medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.