Could Hawaii become the sixth state to back euthanasia?
The Hawaii House voted to approve a bill legalizing physician-assisted suicide in the state Wednesday, moving it one step closer to a short list of states that allows doctors to legally help patients kill themselves.
Hawaii’s House Health and Human Services Committee voted to approve HB 2739 — also known as the “Death With Dignity” Act — which allows terminally ill patients older than 18 to request a fatal dosage of medication.
The act determines a person as terminally ill if they are not expected to live more than six months. The bill posits that patients who want to kill themselves via medication have to make an oral request for the drug, a written request, and a second oral request to confirm that they have not changed their mind about the decision to kill themselves.
“The way this bill was hustled through sight unseen is an example of the dysfunction of the legislature,” Republican Rep. Andria Tupola wrote in response to the vote. “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,” she continued, pointing to the insufficient and lackluster process by which the Hawaii lawmakers voted on the measure.