Hawai‘i Senate Health Committee Advances Medical Aid-in-Dying Legislation

Bill Now Moves to Senate Judiciary Committee
March 16, 2018

Compassion & Choices Hawai‘i applauded the Senate’s Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health Committee for its 6-0

vote to pass HB2739, the Our Care, Our Choice Act, out of committee following public hearing on the bill today. (One committee member was excused from the vote). HB2739 now moves to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Compassion & Choices Hawai`i staff and volunteer advocates after Senate Health Committee victory

If enacted into law, the legislation would authorize medical aid in dying in the state. Medical aid in dying is an end-of-life medical practice in which a terminally ill, mentally capable individual who has a prognosis of six months or less to may request, obtain and—if his or her suffering becomes unbearable—self-ingest medication that brings about a peaceful death.

“We are pleased that the Our Care, Our Choice Act has passed the Senate’s first Committee hearing. There are more hurdles to come, but we are encouraged by the [supermajority] vote in favor of HB2739 and look forward to more discussion,” said Aubrey Hawk, communications officer, C&C Hawai‘i. “Mahalo to everyone who provided testimony, especially those who are living with advanced illness and fighting for their right to utilize this option, and those who took the time to fly in from the neighbor islands to be at the hearing today. We are proud of our diverse coalition of individuals, doctors and organizations that came out in strong support of HB2739, just like the people of Hawai‘i, who overwhelmingly support the option of aid in dying.”

Hawai‘i residents have been striving to gain access to the medical aid-in-dying option for more than 20 years, and C&C Hawai‘i has built a larger-than-ever base of grassroots support. A recent poll by Anthology Research shows 80 percent of Hawai‘i voters support a medical aid-in-dying law, and the issue has been gaining a groundswell of support among medical and interfaith groups.

Compassion & Choices
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