Friday, March 30, 2018
The Hawaii legislature has approved legislation to legalize Medical Aid-in-Dying, according to the New York Times. Doctor-Assisted Suicide Close to Becoming Law in Hawaii reports that the bill now goes to the Hawaii governor, who has indicated that he will sign the bill. The bill contains safeguards similar to other medical aid-in-dying statutes, including
a requirement that two health care providers confirm a patient's diagnosis, prognosis, ability to make decisions and that they voluntarily made the request. A counselor also must determine that the patient is capable and does not appear to be suffering from a lack of treatment of depression.
The patient must make two oral requests for the life-ending medication, with a 20-day waiting period between each. They also must sign a written request witnessed by two people, one of whom can't be a relative.
The measure creates criminal penalties for anyone who tampers with a request or coerces a prescription request.
Assuming the Governor signs the bill, Hawaii will be the 6th state to have such a law, joining Washington, Oregon, Vermont, Colorado and California, along with the District of Columbia. Montana, although without such a statute, has a state supreme court opinion addressing the issue.