Hawaii House Committees Advance Bill to Allow Terminally Ill to Obtain Prescription to Die

HONOLULU, Hawaii — Two Hawaii House committees have advanced a controversial bill that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in the state.

The Health and Human Services Committee and the Judiciary Committee approved H.B. 2739, also known as the “Our Care, Our Choice” bill, on Wednesday. The votes were 4-1 and 7-1 respectively.

The measure allows for adult terminally ill patients ages 18 and up who have an estimated six months or less to live to request a prescription for a dosage of medication that will end their life.

The patient must make the request orally twice, within a period of no less than 20 days apart, and must also sign a written form that is witnessed by two people. A counselor must additionally attest that the patient is not suffering from depression or other factors that might influence their desire to die.

“I have been fully informed of my diagnosis, prognosis, the nature of medication to be prescribed and potential associated risks, the expected result, the possibility that I may choose not to obtain or not to use the medication, and the feasible alternatives or additional treatments, including comfort care, hospice care, and pain control,” the proposed request form would read.

The form also gives the patient the option not to inform their family of the decision. They may likewise rescind the request should they change their mind about ending their life.

The patient would be responsible for taking the pill themselves instead of the administration being handled by their doctor or other health care worker. However, another person would be required to be present when the patient takes the pill and dies.

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Read the bill in full here.

“We already have separation of Church and State. We need to have separation of government and a person’s choice to determine how they want to treat their anatomy,” Rep. John Mizuno, chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, told local television station KHON. “If they only have six months left to live and they’re in excruciating, unbearable pain, who is it for government to tell them what to do?”

The only two committee members to vote against the measure were Reps. Andria Tupola, R- Waianae, and Bob McDermott, R-Ewa Beach.

“This is definitely a controversial bill and yet we were not provided with a copy of House Draft 1 or a list of amendments to the bill. Instead, the amendments were quickly read through and not repeated. How can I vote on something that I was not able to read and see how the amendments change the overall bill?” Tupola said in a statement.

“Although H.B. 2739 is purported to be the strongest legislation for physician-assisted suicide, we should be careful to guard against elder abuse and be mindful of the opioid crisis sweeping our country. We shouldn’t be voting on any bills that we haven’t fully read, especially when dealing with public safety,” she added.

The comment period, which allowed members of the public to weigh in on the matter, lasted five hours, according to KITV.

“For these people and their families, they often ask, ‘Why can’t I leave now? I’m ready to go now,'” said hospice worker Malachay Grange.

“What message are we going to give—not just [to] our children, but Hawaii, and the rest of the nation? We are supposed to be in the land of aloha; will we now be called a land of death?” asked Tarita Tehotu.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reads, “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price, therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Job 14:5 also says that man’s “days are determined” by God.

“The number of his months are with Thee. Thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass,” it outlines.

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  • Bradley Williams

    This article perpetuates the lie of self administration.
    Hawaii 2018 H.B.NO. 2739
    This bill leads and uses double speak through out. Countering the first statement it should say that over 20 states have rejected this in 2017-18.
    Allowing an heir to be one of the witnesses in the sign up process eviscerates flaunted safeguards.
    “These rigorous safeguards…” are unenforceable.
    “The lie of Self administered” is mentioned 11 times is used to deflect normal scrutiny while the provision to have an ordinary witness to the administration is missing.
    Specifically active euthanasia is allowed (page 30 line 16 and page 33 line 8&9) which makes this the most unsafe and subject to abuse of all the states, counter to the author’s claim.
    Again like previous offerings this process can start and end in death in 16 days, all before the rest of the family learns. Immunity for predatory corporations, heirs, strangers, guardians, care givers…. is immediate and records are prohibited to be used in investigations.
    Reject this hollow state sanctioned suicide and euthanasia bill.
    Bradley Williams
    President MTaas org

  • james blue

    I pray you never have to face a painful terminal illness, but if you do the decision as to how to proceed should be yours, whatever that choice is.

    We have the right to determine our own destiny.

    • Christian Curcio

      According to who?

      • james blue

        Freedom and liberty

        • Christian Curcio

          how do you know that?

          • james blue

            Because it’s freedom and liberty.

          • Christian Curcio

            are the principles of freedom and liberty subjective and relative or are they absolute and objective?

          • james blue

            Your rights end at my feet and mine at yours.

          • Christian Curcio

            is that an absolute or relative truth?

          • james blue

            Pretty much absolute, I don’t have the right to infringe on your rights and you don’t have the right to infringe on mine. Make your case for why not if you disagree.

          • Christian Curcio

            I thank you James for your interaction. I don’t know if you profess to be a Christian or what worldview you hold to. I am a Christian and therefore hold to a Christian worldview. for one to assert that truth is absolute is to presuppose a Christian worldview. For it is only the Christian worldview that provides the necessary preconditions for intelligibility. It is the only worldview that can account for absolute truth, the ability to assume that ones reasoning is valid, uniformity of nature, the laws of logic ect. The Bible states that freedom is defined within the boundaries the God has placed. The Bible is very clear that murder, which is defined as the willful taking of innocent life, is sin. To take one’s own life is self-murder and is therefore sin. According to the Bible, your body does not belong to you therefore you have no right to do with it as you please.

            Apart from a Christian worldview one cannot have absolute certainty as to whether ones position is true or false because that person will not be able to point to anything outside of himself to lay a foundation necessary to account for such a claim. ones positions will therefore fall into relativism and skepticism. Absolute truth is something that is true for all people in all times in all places. My question for you is, how do you account for absolute truth apart from the God of the Bible and how do you even know that’s such a thing as absolute truth even is a reality? For one to claim that something is true that person would have to have absolute knowledge. For instance, let’s say, for argument’s sake, that you had 1% of knowledge out of the entire universe. (this is being very generous because the reality is we all have only a fraction of a percent) is it not possible that the 99% of knowledge that you do not know can contradict the 1% that you do? therefore you can never know for certain if something is true or false. You cannot know for certain if even there is such a thing as “true and false” in the Christian worldview I admit as well that I do not have Have 100% knowledge but I know someone who does and that is God. That is why if one does not presuppose the Christian worldview one cannot account for and even make sense of the idea of Truth. So again my question for you is, how do you know for certain that something is true?

          • james blue

            Do you believe that man should follow Christ and the bible voluntarily or by force of others?

          • Christian Curcio

            It would be helpful if you answered my question as to how you know for certain that something is true? b/c you stated that absolute truth is a reality to validate your position that freedom and liberty dictate that one can take there own life. If you cannot account for absolute truth according to your worldview (by which your whole argument is based) then your whole argument is just your personal opinion. your second question about forcing others to obey the Bible assumes that it is wrong to do so based on another assumption of yours that there is such a thing as absolute standards of morality. apart from a christian worldview how can you know for certain that something is evil? to say something is evil is to presuppose an objective absolute standard of righteous. As a Christian I can account for such a standard but how do you?

          • james blue

            Your answer is in the question I posed.

            If you believe that man should follow Christ and the bible voluntarily then you believe God gave us free will and the right to decide.

            If you believe that man should follow Christ and the bible by force of others, then you disagree that God gave us free will and we do not have the right to decide.

            I accept Christ as my savior, I can try to bring you to Christ, but I cannot force you to accept him. I can use force to make you comply with my beliefs, but I cannot make you believe and you cannot force him to be saved. . I’m in the first category.

          • Griffith C

            Apparently your freedom and liberty are applicable only in those situations where a random person on the internet would make an identical decision.

            You have the freedom to do exactly what christians tell you to do.

  • Vince

    Kevorkian, in hell, would be pleased.

    As they have found in the Netherlands, the line between helping you die and encouraging you to die is very thin.

    We really are a very sick, life-hating culture.

  • Lexical Cannibal

    So look, not to be overly morbid, but if I’m ever faced with wasting away in a hospital bed for months on end and no real alternatives, my life is either going to end under the careful direction of medical professionals or at the bottom of a very long fall. I fail to see what’s so merciful about forcing me through some hell on earth on the offchance I’ll have a ‘miracle’ and gain a few more years, quite possibly of more hellish degeneration.

  • robert boe

    When you believe your bought for the price of Gods own blood than you leave your life and when you should die in Gods hands because you belong to him.