Hawaii Passes New Bill That Will Make Assisted Suicide Legal
HB 2739 — passed by the House on Tuesday
The Hawaii House of Representatives has passed a controversial bill that will legalize assisted suicide, moving the state close to allowing terminally ill patients to kill themselves with the help of doctors.
HB 2739 — passed by the House on Tuesday, is known as the “Death With Dignity” and will allow terminally ill patients over the age of 18 to request a fatal dose of medication.
The act will only declare a person "terminally" ill if the only have no more than six months to live. Patients will have to make one written request and two oral requests before they are given medication to aid them in killing themselves.
DailyCaller reports: “[Americans United For Life] is committed to fighting to protect vulnerable people groups from the harms of assisted suicide, and we will continue to educate Hawaiian legislators on those harms as the legislation moves to the Senate,” Americans United For Life President Catherine Glenn Foster said in a press release.
The Senate’s acceptance of the bill comes after Hawaii’s House Health and Human Services Committee voted to approve the bill last Wednesday in a lackluster and insufficient process, according to Republican state Rep. Andria Tupola.
“The way this bill was hustled through sight unseen is an example of the dysfunction of the legislature,” Tupola wrote. “We were asked to vote without our members having seen a written draft of the revised bill. I literally had nothing in front of me on which to vote.”
California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington also permit physician-assisted suicide. Washington, D.C., adopted the Death with Dignity Act in July 2017.
If the Hawaii legislation is signed into law, Hawaii would be the sixth state, along with the District of Columbia, to endorse assisted suicide.
Assisted suicide in the Netherlands is legal for anyone who suffers from physical or mental illness and has an advanced directive or has received parental consent if younger than 16. Minors can request euthanasia as young as 12. The law states parents must be involved in the decision-making processes of 16- and 17-year-old people, but it does not require parental consent. Those who desire assisted suicide must express an earnest conviction that they see euthanasia as their only escape and obtain a doctor’s signature.