Last updated on: 6/2/2008 | Author:

Kathleen Foley, MD Biography

Professor in the Department of Neurology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Con to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"

“One of our [Foley and Herbert Hendin] major goals is to draw attention to the vulnerability of the dying population and the evidence that legalizing assisted suicide increases that vulnerability. That evidence is drawn largely from the Dutch and Oregon experiences with physician-assisted suicide.

A driving force in this publication is our own clinical experience in caring for patients with serious life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and suicidal depression. Such patients, who are often elderly, are profoundly vulnerable in our current social and health care system, which devalues their quality of life and inadequately assesses and treats their pain, their psychological symptoms, their emotional distress, and the associated burden to their caregivers.”

Preface from The Case Against Assisted Suicide: For the Right to End-of-Life Care, 2004

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor, Department of Neurology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
  • Attending Neurologist, Pain and Palliative Care Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Director, Project on Death in America, Open Society Institute, Soros Foundation
  • Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Chair
  • Past President of the American Pain Society
  • Past member of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Neurology and the International Association of the Study of Pain
  • Distinguished Service Award from the American Cancer Society
  • David Karnovsky Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Frank Netter Award of the American Academy of Neurology
  • Expert consultant to the World Health Organization Cancer and Palliative Care Unit
  • Past director of a World Health Organization Collaborating Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • MD, Cornell University Medical College, 1969
  • BA, St. John’s University, 1965
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Is the Opposition to Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide Primarily Religious in Nature?
  2. Would Improving Palliative Care Decrease Patient Requests for Physician-Assisted Suicide?
  3. Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?