Hawaii Legalizes Medically Assisted Suicide

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With David Ige’s signature Thursday afternoon, Hawaii has become the 7th state to give terminally ill patients the ability to decide for themselves when they want to die.

The newly minted law, titled the ‘Our Care, Our Choice Act’, makes Hawaii the 7th state and 8th Jurisdiction to legalize assisted suicide. The law will officially go into effect January 1st of next year. The law will allow terminally ill patients in the state of Hawaii to request medication from their doctors that will effectively end their lives. In order to qualify patients must be over 18 years old and estimated to have less than 6 months to live.

While Governor Ige acknowledged that the choice might not be for everyone, even admitting that within his own family there are differing opinions, he said that he believes there is a point that it does make sense to give the patient the option to request the medication and take it or change their mind.

Groups of activists have been working in collaboration with state lawmakers for over 2 decades to get the bill passed. Kim Callinan, CEO of advocacy group Compassion & Choices, added, ““This has really been the building of a ground-up operation”. Callinan and her group have been working with the state since the beginning of activist efforts.

Speaking on Thursday, Callinan said that laws that allow for aid in dying are about more than giving people the decision on when they want to die, it’s about giving those terminally ill patients more options in general.

Alternatively, conservative family groups like, Hawaii Family Forum, had started a petition prior to the bill’s signing that had gathered nearly 20,000 signatures in opposition.

“We are very concerned that a lot of the concerns that were brought up by the medical community … the disabled rights community, they were not taken into consideration,” Eva Andrade, the group’s president, stated at the time of delivering the bill to Governor Ige’s office.

Similar to the legislation pass in the other 6 states, the ‘Our Care, Our Choice Act’ requires doctors notify patients about all options including both those that do and do not involve assisted suicide. They are also required to notify patients that they always have the option to change their mind after they have requested and received the medication that would end their lives.

According to Callinan, most patients who request the medication actually do not end up taking it. It is really about giving those patients autonomy over their life and the option of ending their life if the pain and suffering becomes too much.

Assisted suicide has also been legalized in Washington DC, Washington, Vermont, Montana, Colorado and California.

 

12 thoughts on “Hawaii Legalizes Medically Assisted Suicide

  • February 24, 2019 at 9:20 am
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    I agree with this, and disagree. It is someones right to go when they want. Then again, during the ACA, I remember Obamas’ comment about “giving grandma a pill”. In the context of making ACA more affordable. Perhaps if the politicans could be convinced to stay out of the decision making, maybe. But when have they, recently, managed to stay out of anything concerning we the people?

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  • August 20, 2018 at 12:36 am
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    This new law was a no brainer! I would move to any state with the choice law if terminal.

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  • August 13, 2018 at 8:14 am
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    I’m not against it, if someone is dying and in pain I guess. However I do think it’s hard on the families. And it definitely goes against the bible. I don’t like the part where the patients that get the medication then change their mind. There should be more control over this. I just pray these medications never get in the wrong hands. We have enough going on with hate crimes.

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    • March 2, 2019 at 9:10 am
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      Who cares what the bible says? That’s like quibbling because it’s against Grimm’s fairy tales.

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  • August 10, 2018 at 10:20 am
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    They should just legalize and let people take control of it, and no one should bitch in.

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  • July 28, 2018 at 7:33 pm
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    What about patients that feel pushed into this so they won’t be a burden? Or even those who are actually pressured into it?

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  • July 27, 2018 at 3:06 pm
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    My son has been thinking about this…it’s what he wants…but I still want to hope that things can change in the time they told him he has left.

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  • July 14, 2018 at 3:11 pm
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    As long as it’s the patient deciding this, I believe there is no problem.

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  • June 24, 2018 at 1:19 pm
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    There’s still some time left for it to go into effect. Anything can change in the meantime.

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  • April 12, 2018 at 4:20 pm
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    I’m surprised that it’s not passed in more states. More surprising that it’s actually a state away from the mainland that is one of them.

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  • April 10, 2018 at 9:01 pm
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    More and more of these laws should be passed. All kinds of decisions should be in the hands of the patient in the end, no matter what we think otherwise.

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  • April 10, 2018 at 1:52 pm
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    And I actually say bravo! Glad that something is being done.

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