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National Patients' Rights Advocate Joins Truman Medical Centers as General Counsel

KANSAS CITY, Mo., June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- National patients' rights advocate William H. Colby joined Truman Medical Centers on June 22nd as General Counsel to TMC and its Charitable Foundation. He also will serve as the main administrator to the TMC Self Insurance Trust. He replaces Lewis Popper who recently retired after ten years with TMC.

"TMC is very fortunate to be able draw on the leadership and wise counsel of one of the most experienced health care advocates in the United States. Undoubtedly, Bill Colby will provide invaluable input into our ever-changing health care environment and provide us with unique guidance for the future," said John W. Bluford, III, president and chief executive officer of TMC.

Colby became a national figure during the 1980s as a proponent on the issue popularly known as "the right to die." Colby represented several Missouri families in "right to die" cases, including the well-known case of Nancy Cruzan, which he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 6, 1989. Colby's plea before the court ultimately led to the federal constitutional right by patients to refuse unwanted medical treatment.

"TMC's mission and work is vital to Kansas City," Colby said. "I have long admired the people that have dedicated themselves to providing the best healthcare available for the people who need it most and I am delighted to join TMC and be a part of those efforts."

Graduating in 1982 from the University of Kansas School of Law, Colby moved to Washington, D.C. and began his career serving as a clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals and then in the D.C. office of Davis Polk & Wardwell. In 1985, Colby moved to Kansas City and joined Shook, Hardy & Bacon. Over the years, he has represented large corporate clients as well as individuals in a wide variety of matters in courts across the United States.

In addition, he has worked for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and most recently at the Center for Practical Bioethics. Colby is also a Senior Fellow for Law and Patient Rights with Kansas City's Center for Practical Bioethics.

He was a member of the Ethics Committee at Children's Mercy from 1999 until 2009. Colby has also served on various committees and boards, including the Board Executive Committee of the Children's Center for the Visually Impaired and as Board Chair of the Children's Center Campus.

Often Colby is invited to speak about different medical/legal issues, including "the right to die," by the national media and by various organizations. Colby has published two critically acclaimed books and was named Kansas City Civil Libertarian of the Year.

About TMC

Truman Medical Centers is a not-for-profit two acute-care hospital health system in Kansas City. The TMC Health System includes TMC Hospital Hill, TMC Lakewood, TMC Behavioral Health, the Jackson County Health Department and a number of primary care practices throughout Eastern Jackson County. Recently named one of the nation's top academic medical centers, TMC is the primary teaching hospital for the University of Missouri-Kansas City Schools of Health Sciences and specializes in asthma, bariatrics, diabetes, women's health, and trauma services. For more information, please call (816) 404-3785 or visit

    For More Information, contact:
    Shane Kovac, Media Relations Manager, (816) 404-3786

SOURCE Truman Medical Centers
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