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Release: Immediate

UI professor edits book on physician-assisted suicide

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa College of Medicine professor has edited a new book on physician-assisted suicide.

Dr. Robert F. Weir, professor of pediatrics and director of the UI's Program in Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities, is the editor of "Physician-Assisted Suicide," published by Indiana University Press. The book discusses a range of ethical issues, citing historical precedents as well as contemporary examples.

Although legal and ethical issues surrounding physician-assisted suicide have been debated for years, the book comes on the eve of an important milestone. The Supreme Court is expected to rule this month on whether Americans have a constitutional right to die. It is considering two cases in which federal appeals courts declared, for different reasons, that New York and Washington state laws prohibiting physician-assisted suicide were unconstitutional.

Weir received his doctorate in religious studies from Princeton University in 1972. He was on the faculty at Oklahoma State University for 15 years before joining the UI faculty in 1988.