Hawaii’s Ill-Chosen Legalization of Assisted Suicide

by Matt Valliere, Executive Director for Patients Rights Action Fund

Hawaii just made the mistake of becoming the eighth jurisdiction in the United States to allow assisted suicide. We can learn a lot about the folly of this path if we look to other places both here and abroad where assisted suicide is already legal. A quick survey turns up countless instances of the failures of these types of laws to safeguard the most vulnerable.

From Europe there seems to be a constant stream of documented cases related to the practice of assisted suicide and euthanasia, which would give anyone pause.

In the Netherlands, the number of people with lived experience of mental illness being euthanized is rising by the day. There are known cases of such people being abused or coerced into death by people they should be able to trust. A whistle-blowing doctor in Belgium went to the Associated Press with the details of a dementia patient’s death by euthanasia – the patient had never formally asked to die.

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