The latest from Compassion & Choices

More terminally ill requesting lethal drugs under new law

Since Jan. 1, when medically assisted death became legal in Hawaii, at least 17 patients have requested lethal drugs to end their lives and at least three of them went on to use the medication to “have a peaceful death.”

That’s according to Compassion &Choices Hawaii, part of a national nonprofit organization that advocates for laws that allow those nearing the end of life to choose how and when they die.

Hawaii residents with a prognosis of no more than six months may request lethal prescriptions under the medical- aid-in-dying law, also known as physician-assisted suicide, which is currently authorized in eight states and Washington, D.C.

The wife of a Kona man suffering from prostate cancer who died May 5 described her husband’s final moments in a note provided to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser via Compassion &Choices. The woman, who did not want to be identified, said he “showered, shaved, put on his dress shorts and nicest aloha shirt for the last dance. We were on the deck and it was a beautiful clear day with birds singing, light breeze. (He) was joking and talking story until he drank the medication,” she wrote.

“He laid down just like he does for a nap. In a minute or so he went into a deep sleep. All total maybe 30 minutes. This was the lasting memory he wanted to leave with me. He died in absolute peace and control of his own destiny on Cinco de Mayo.”

Read the full article from the Star Advertiser by clicking here