Yesterday, with the signature of Governor David Ice on the Our Care, Our Choice Act, the Aloha State became the 8th US jurisdiction to authorize Medical Aid in Dying. After years of starts and stops, hopeful moves forward, followed by crushing disappointments, the voices of reason and compassion prevailed over fear and demagoguery. And how quickly it came to pass in 2018. A Hawaii House committee passed a bill on February 28, by a vote 4-1, and then the full House on March 6 overwhelmingly 39-12. The jurisdictional Senate cCommittee passed the bill unanimously, followed by the full Senate 23-2. Before signing the bill on April 5, Governor Ige stated
“Mentally competent, terminally ill people who are in pain and who are suffering should be even the choice to end their lives with grace, dignity and peace.”
A more complete description of the path that Hawaii’s Our Care, Our Choice Act took before enactment is provided here by Death with Dignity.org.
Ed Tiryakian, J.D., MBA, founded Dying Right NC in 2015 and is its Executive Director. He previously worked in international banking in Asia before retiring to his native NC.He believes End of Life issues are one of society’s most pressing challenges as we all live longer and the medicalization of the dying process continues to conflict with the individual’s right to choose his or her end.