Education and Outreach
Compassion & Choices has launched the Hawai’i Access Campaign, a volunteer-led effort to educate the public, health care professionals and health systems. The campaign works to ensure that people know how to access this and other end-of-life options and that institutions put supportive policies in place, so eligible patients will be able to access medical aid in dying if they choose. Compassion & Choices’ materials are available in seven languages in order to reach as many Hawaiians as possible.
On July 1, 2019, the Department of Health released their first report on the Our Care, Our Choice Act. Eight Hawai‘i residents received prescriptions from four different physicians, signaling a successful start for the Access Campaign in Hawai‘i.
Hawai’i Advance Directive
State-specific advance directives make clear your end-of-life preferences if you are unable to make or communicate medical treatment decisions yourself. For the Hawai’i advance directive form, click here.
Hawaiʻi residents have been working to authorize medical aid in dying in the Aloha State for nearly two decades, and Compassion & Choices Hawai‘i has built a large base of grassroots support. Over the past several years we’ve explored a variety of legal and legislative strategies to expand end-of-life choice and authorize medical aid in dying.
Our team included public relations experts, top lobbyists, pro bono attorneys, grassroots organizers and hundreds of volunteers and advocates. We worked closely with bill sponsors to review the legislation, filed a lawsuit to authorize medical aid in dying, gathered petitions, generated a constant drumbeat of media coverage and reached out to key health organizations. The Our Care, Our Choice bill was passed by veto-proof margins in both houses of the legislature.
On July 15, 2017, a state judge decided to dismiss a case (brought forward by Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing and Compassion & Choices on behalf of a Hawaiʻi resident with terminal cancer, John Radcliffe) that seeks to clarify that the Hawai‘i constitution and existing state law allow the practice of medical aid in dying. Plaintiff John Radcliffe appealed the court’s decision.
After nearly 20 years of on-the-ground organizing, the Hawai‘i State Legislature passed the Our Care, Our Choice Act in 2018. Governor David Ige signed the measure on April 5, 2018.
The Our Care, Our Choice Act authorizes the practice of medical aid in dying, in which terminally ill, mentally capable adults, with six months or less to live, can request a doctor’s prescription for medication that they could decide to take in their final days or weeks to end unbearable suffering and die peacefully. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2019.
To coincide with the implementation of the Our Care, Our Choice Act, Compassion & Choices launched a series of PSAs to educate Hawai‘i residents about the law.
View them here.