Showing posts with label Kathryn Tucker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kathryn Tucker. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Defeating Assisted Suicide Before it Gets Started

I'm giving a lecture this weekend titled: "Arguing Smart: Defeating Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia Before it Gets Started."

The course description is below.  A hard copy of the course materials can be viewed by clicking here.

Margaret Dore

Course Description:

In 2010, assisted suicide advocates targeted Idaho for legalization of assisted suicide, which they termed "aid in dying." Their legal director owned a home there and was in the state actively meeting people, talking to newspapers and otherwise drumming up support. The legal director had also got an article published in The Advocate, the official publication of the Idaho State Bar Association. And then she was defeated by nine well-placed letters.

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 http://thinktech.staradvertiserblogs.com/2011/10/17/death-with-dignity-is-coming-back/
[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).

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hawaii: Oops, they did it again! Mainland suicide law proponents back in Hawaii

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.

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 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

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]