Hawaii and Assisted Suicide?

Alyssa Urff

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With a new year starting, new policies and laws are being enacted. If you have ever watched the movie “Me Before You”, the ending of the movie is now a reality in Hawaii.

The Our Care Our Choice Act, signed and passed in April of 2018 allowing for Hawaii’s terminally ill medical patients to request medical-aid-in-dying medication, went into effect on January 1, 2019.

The process for requesting medical-aid-in-dying prescription drugs has strict conditions and requirements, it is not an open ended or easy affair. The medical patient must be an adult, terminally ill, given six months or less to live, and mentally able to make personal healthcare decisions.  They additionally have to be a resident of Hawaii, acting voluntarily, and capable of taking the prescription drugs by themselves.

While doctors and healthcare providers are not required to participate, the Department of Health has encouraged providers to make policies, procedures, and information available to patients who are interested. If the healthcare provider does choose to participate, two Hawaii physicians must review the request, choose to allow it or not, and decide whether the patient has the mental capacity to make the decision.

Hawaii is not the first state or city to allow this medical decision. California, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Montana, Colorado, and Washington D.C. have made it a legal option as well.

While this medical decision may be controversial or wrong to many, Hawaii has been urged to make it a duty to educate and make sure that the patient be well informed and ready to make the decision.

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