BY KAREN DICOSTANZO - Oops, they did it again! Mainland suicide law proponents descended on Hawaii this week for a panel discussion hosted by Rep. Blake Oshiro and sponsored by Honolulu Star-Advertiser. As before, they used misinformation to bolster their claim that physician assisted suicide is "already legal" in Hawaii.
Of course, this begs the question: If physician assisted suicide is "already legal" in Hawaii, why have suicide law proponents been trying--unsuccessfully--to legalize it for the past 10 years?The "panel" for the panel discussion consisted solely of suicide activists, so this was not a bona fide effort to air opinions from both sides and maintain balance. Rather, this was meant as a PR stunt to create a news story and arouse public interest in their cause.
Suicide law proponents are using a 1909 Hawaii law as a basis for their assertions, claiming the law allows doctors to administer lethal drugs upon patient request. In fact, this law was written to allow doctors to administer non-traditional/herbal drugs in battling such illnesses as Hansen's Disease (leprosy), tuberculousis, and asthma.
It is obvious that by grasping at straws such as this, their argument is indeed weak. Nevertheless, using equally weak arguments, physician assisted suicide was legalized in states like Oregon and Washington. We need to act now to counter these ridiculous claims and protect the public from these false reports.