The Hawai‘i Our Care, Our Choice Act was signed into law by Governor David Ige on April 5, 2018. The law 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 will go into effect January 1, 2019.

How do I Access a Prescription?

To be eligible for medical aid in dying under the Hawai‘i Our Care, Our Choice Act, a person must be:

  • An adult
  • Terminally ill
  • Given a prognosis of six months or less
    to live
  • Mentally capable of making their own healthcare decisions.

In addition, a person must meet the following requirements:

  • A resident of Hawai‘i
  • Acting voluntarily
  • Capable of self-administering the medical aid-in-dying drug.

Eligibility to use the law is not the same as eligibility for hospice.

Two Hawai‘i physicians must confirm eligibility to use the The Hawai‘i Our Care, Our Choice Act, as well as confirm that you are making an informed decision and voluntarily requesting the medical aid-in-dying medication. The attending physician prescribes the medication, and the consulting physician provides a second opinion. (An attending physician is described as a physician who has primary responsibility for care of the individual and their disease.) A patient’s mental capacity must also be confirmed by a psychiatrist, psychologist or licensed clinical social worker. This evaluation may be provided through telehealth (by phone or video).

 

Where Can I Learn More?

For Hawai‘i residents:

Hawai‘i Introduction to Medical Aid in Dying

Hawai‘i Our Care, Our Choice Information for State Residents Fact Sheet

Hawai‘i Our Care, Our Choice Frequently Asked Questions Fact Sheet

How to Interview a Hospice in Hawai‘i

How to Talk to your Doctor about medical aid in dying in Hawai‘i

About the Access Campaign

A Patient’s Guide to Personal Advocacy

Click here for translated resources:

  • Chinese
  • Hawaiian
  • Ilokano
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Tagalog

Forms

Request for Medication to End My Life

Final Attestation for a Request for Medication to End My Life

Hawai‘i Department of Health

PSAs

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.