Showing posts with label Hawaii. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hawaii. Show all posts

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hawaii: Thank You Representative Oshiro!

Representative Marcus Oshiro (in green)
This is a belated thank you to Representative Marcus Oshiro, one of the many people instrumental to the defeat of SB 1129, which had sought to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia in Hawaii.

Representative Oshiro took the lead to make stopping the bill one of his main goals for the legislative session. From my viewpoint, he was a major reason we won in what was also a great team effort. Choice is an Illusion got him a plaque in appreciation.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hawaii Assisted Suicide Dealt Another Blow

Doug Chin, Hawaii AG
ARTICLE SUMMARY- They failed at the legislature this year, and now a court dismissed a lawsuit, but advocates have not given up.

(BIVN) – An Oahu circuit judge on Friday [07/14/17] dismissed a lawsuit asking the court to prevent existing Hawaii criminal laws from being applied to medical aid in dying [assisted suicide] practices.

In its decision, the court relied upon state legal precedent that prohibited it from issuing such relief, the state attorney general said in a media release. The attorney general opposed the suit, filing the successful motion to dismiss.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Assisted suicide/euthanasia laws "surrounded by a sea of propaganda"

Hawaii Bill is misleading, lacks protections

I was relieved to see a state House committee vote to delay consideration of Senate Bill 1129 [, which seeks to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia in Hawaii].

I attended the hearing at which [1129] was sold as completely voluntary, which isn’t true.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hawaii Bill SB 1129 - “Choice” is a Big Fat Fib

Vote No on SB 1129 SD 2

No Assisted Suicide
No Euthanasia


• The act is sold as providing a voluntary patient choice, but doesn’t even have a requirement of  voluntariness, capability or consent when the lethal dose is administered. 

• People who ask about the act will lose their right to informed consent: They will lose the right to be told about alternatives for cure.

• The claim that self-administration is required is not true. The act says that a patient “may” self-administer the lethal dose. There is no language that administration “must” be by self-administration.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hawaii: Dore Testimony Opposing SB 1129 SD 1 (No Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia)

To Chairman Keith-Agaran and members of the Committee:

As some of you know, I am an attorney in Washington State where assisted suicide and euthanasia are legal.  Our law is based on a law in Oregon.  Both laws are similar to the proposed act in SB 1129 SD 1.

Attached please find a memo with supporting documentation opposing the act. The act seeks to legalize physician-assisted suicide and allow euthanasia. My memo and documentation can also be viewed at these links: and

The act will encourage people with years or decades to live to throw away their lives.  (See memo, pp 3-6). The act is a recipe for elder abuse, especially for those in the middle class and above in the inheritance situation. (Id., pp. 8-9). The act creates the perfect crime in which the death is allowed to occur in private, without oversight, and the death certificate gives perpetrators a "stay out of jail free card."  (Id., pp. 10-13).  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hawaii: Assisted Suicide Not Lawful, Says State

A 103-year-old act does not let doctors kill, the attorney general's office tells proponents

By B.J. Reyes

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jan 17, 2012

An obscure 1909 law intended to ease suffering of Hansen's disease patients does not make physician-assisted suicide legal in Hawaii, according to an opinion by the state attorney general's office.

The opinion, dated Dec. 8, was in response to an inquiry from state Sen. Josh Green, chairman of the Senate Health Committee, who sought clarification of the law amid reports that supporters of physician-assisted suicide were seeking a patient willing to test the statute.
An obscure 1909 law intended to ease suffering of Hansen's disease patients does not make physician-assisted suicide legal in Hawaii, according to an opinion by the state attorney general's office.
The opinion, dated Dec. 8, was in response to an inquiry from state Sen. Josh Green, chairman of the Senate Health Committee, who sought clarification of the law amid reports that supporters of physician-assisted suicide were seeking a patient willing to test the statute. Login for more...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Hawaii: Attorney General Opinion Attached

Per Jim Hochberg, Hawaii State Senator Joshua Green, MD, has authorized release of the Attorney General's opinion rejecting C & C's claim that assisted suicide is "already legal" in Hawaii.  The opinion states in part:

"Dear Senator Green:

Re: Hawaii law on assistance with dying

You have asked (1) whether §453-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), authorizes a physician to assist a terminally ill patient with dying when requested by or on behalf of the patient, and (2) whether any criminal laws prohibit aid in dying.

We are assuming that a physician’s assistance with dying would consist of prescribing a lethal dose of medication that a terminally ill patient could take to bring on a swifter and possibly more peaceful death than would otherwise ensue. Our analysis addresses only this method of assistance. Briefly, (1) we do not believe that §453-1 provides authority for a physician to assist with dying, and (2) a physician who provided such assistance could be charged under Hawaii’s manslaughter statute. . . ."

To view the entire opinion, click here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hawaii: Attorney General Rejects C & C Claim that Assisted Suicide is "Already Legal"

The Attorney General of Hawaii has issued a formal opinion rejecting Compassion & Choices' claim that physician-assisted suicide, termed "aid in dying," is legal in Hawaii.

A press release issued by the Alliance Defense Fund describes that Senator Josh Green, MD had requested the opinion from Attorney General David Louie.[1]  The press release states:

"[T]he attorney general's legal opinion states that state law "does not authorize physicians to assist terminally ill patients with dying" and "a physician who provided assistance with death could be charged under Hawaii's manslaughter statute."

The press release also quotes Honolulu attorney Jim Hochberg:  "[N]o one should believe the recent falsehoods that pro-death proponents have spread about [Hawaii] law."

* * * 

[1]  To view the ADF Press Release, click here 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hawaii: An Acknowledgement that the Claimed Legality is Bogus?

By Margaret Dore

Yesterday, the Honolulu Star Advertizer announced that Hawaii Representative Blake Oshiro was planning to "lead the charge" to promote assisted suicide legislation in 2012.[1]  The Advertizer elaborated that prior bills to legalize assisted suicide are "still alive" and that "[n]ew bills on the subject may also be introduced."[2]

Just two weeks ago, Oshiro chaired a panel of suicide advocates who claimed that assisted suicide is already legal in Hawaii.[3], [4]  If he believed that assisted suicide is already legal, why would he be planning to "lead the charge" to promote legislation to legalize it again?   

With the announcement of upcoming legislation, there is the implicit acknowledgement that the claimed legality is bogus? 

For more information and talking points about problems with legal assisted suicide, go here.

* * *

[1]  Jay Fidell, "Death with Dignity is Coming Back," The Star Advertiser, October 17, 2011, available at
[2]  The Advertiser article refers to two legalization bills:  House Bill 1383 and Senate Bill 803.
[3]  The claim that assisted suicide was already legal in Hawaii was based on a brief written by Kathryn Tucker, Director of Legal Affairs for Compassion & Choices.  For a critique of that brief, click here. 
[4]  According to a post on the Hawaii Death with Dignity Society home page, the panel met on October 5, 2011.  (Last viewed today).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Massachusetts: Assisted Suicide is a Recipe for Elder Abuse; Do not be Deceived

By Margaret Dore

A ballot initiative to legalize physician-assisted suicide via a "death with dignity" act is now in the signature-gathering stage in Massachusetts.[1]

Physician-assisted suicide is legal in just two states: Oregon and Washington.[2]  In both states, acts to legalize the practice were enacted via sound-bite ballot initiative campaigns.[3]  No such law has made it through the scrutiny of a legislature.  Just this year, bills to legalize assisted suicide were defeated in Montana, New Hampshire and Hawaii.[4] Just this year, Idaho enacted a statute to strengthen its law against assisted suicide.[5]

The proposed Massachusetts act is a recipe for elder abuse.  Key provisions include that an heir, who will benefit financially from a patient's death, is allowed to participate as a witness to help sign the patient up for the lethal dose.  See Section 21 of the act, allowing one of two witnesses on the lethal dose request form to be an heir, available here.  This situation invites undue influence and coercion.

Once the lethal dose is issued by the pharmacy, there is no oversight.  See entire proposed act, available here.  The act does not require witnesses when the lethal dose is administered.  See act here.  Without disinterested witnesses, an opportunity is created for an heir, or another person who will benefit from the patient's death, to administer the lethal dose to him without his consent.  Even if he struggled who would know?

In Massachusetts, proponents are framing the issue as religious.  In Washington state, proponents used a similar tactic and even religious slurs to distract voters from the pitfalls of legalization.  What the proposed law said and did was all but forgotten.
        Do not be deceived.

* * *
Margaret Dore is an attorney in Washington State where assisted suicide is legal.  She is also President of Choice is an Illusion, a nonprofit corporation opposed to assisted suicide.  Her publications include Margaret K. Dore, "Physician-Assisted Suicide: A Recipe for Elder Abuse and the Illusion of Personal Choice," The Vermont Bar Journal, Winter 2011.
* * *
[1]  To view the proposed Massachusetts initiative, click here:
[2]  In Montana, there is a court decision that gives doctors who cause or aid a suicide, a potential defense to criminal prosecution for homicide.  The decision does not legalize assisted suicide by giving doctors or anyone else immunity from criminal prosecution and civil liability.  To learn more, go here:  The assisted suicide promotion group, Compassion & Choices, has a new campaign claiming that assisted suicide is "already legal" in Hawaii.  This is an odd claim given that bills to legalize assisted suicide in Hawaii have repeatedly failed, most recently this year.  See here for the most recent bill
[3]  Oregon's physician-assisted suicide act was enacted via Ballot Measure 16.  Washington's act was enacted via Initiative 1000.
[4]  In Montana, SB 167 was tabled in Committee and subsequently died on April 28, 2011.  In New Hampshire, HB 513 was defeated on March 16, 2011.  In Hawaii, SB 803 was defeated on February 7, 2011 .
[5]  On July 1 2011, Idaho's new statute strengthening Idaho law against assisted suicide went into effect:

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. 
* * *

1.  On February 7, 2011, SB 803 was defeated in Committee 4 to 0.  See Hawaii Legislative website at
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  and Kathryn Tucker, "End-of-life Law and Policy in Hawaii Aid in Dying," as of September 20, 2011, available at

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hawaii: Assisted Suicide is Not "Already Legal"

By Margaret Dore

Kathryn Tucker, Director of Legal Affairs for Compassion & Choices, claims that physician-assisted suicide, which she terms "aid in dying," is already legal in Hawaii.[1]  Her claim, based in part on a 1909 statute, fails for the reasons set forth below.

A.  Hawaii's Manslaughter Statute Applies

Tucker argues that Hawaii's manslaughter statute, providing that an individual commits manslaughter if "[t]he person intentionally causes another person to commit suicide," does not apply to "aid in dying" because aid in dying is not "suicide."[2]  Just last year, in Blick v. Connecticut, Tucker made a similar argument that was summarily rejected by the trial court.[3]  The trial judge stated:

"[T]he legislature intended the [manslaughter] statute to apply to physicians who assist a suicide . . ." [4]