According to the Patients Rights Action Fund, an advocacy group that opposes the legislation, at least 25 states have introduced bills this session, but seven have been defeated or languished after inaction. On March 29, the same day that the bill advanced in Hawaii, a Massachusetts health committee dropped its aid-in-dying bill from consideration.
Opponents of the practice, who use the term “physician-assisted suicide,” have said that they worry about people in poverty or with disabilities being taken advantage of, and have raised concerns about patients with a terminal illness being pressured to end their lives so they do not become a burden to their families.
“Assisted suicide is dangerous public policy with potentially deadly consequences for everyone, but especially people with disabilities, the sick, the poor and the elderly,” said Matt Valliere, executive director of Patients Rights Action Fund. “We should prioritize protecting these vulnerable members of society instead of adding to the challenges they face.”