Why Choice is an Illusion?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hawaii: Assisted Suicide is Still Not Legal

By Margaret Dore

Barbara Coombs Lee has a new article on Huffington Post, claiming that physician-assisted suicide ("aid in dying") is legal in Hawaii.  This is an odd claim given that bills to legalize assisted suicide in Hawaii have repeatedly failed, most recently this year.[1] 
Coombs Lee's article begins with a discussion of melting snow, moves on to a panel of experts, focuses on Montana and then finally discusses the law of Hawaii.[2]  With regard to Hawaii, her arguments are similar to those presented in a brief drafted by Kathryn Tucker, which was apparently removed from the internet after I published a critique of the arguments presented.[3]
To view my critique, click here.

The bottom line:  Assisted suicide is still not legal in Hawaii. 
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1.  On February 7, 2011, SB 803 was defeated in Committee 4 to 0.  See Hawaii Legislative website at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/lists/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=803
2.  Barbara Coombs Lee, "Hawaii:  The Latest State Where Doctors Can Provide Aid in Dying," Huffington Post, October 6, 2011, available here.
3.  See:  Margaret Dore, "Hawaii: Assisted Suicide is not 'Already Legal,'" September 21, 2011, available at http://www.choiceillusion.org/2011/09/hawaii-assisted-suicide-is-not-already.html#more  and Kathryn Tucker, "End-of-life Law and Policy in Hawaii Aid in Dying," as of September 20, 2011, available at http://choiceisanillusion.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/tucker-brief_0011.pdf