“We are very pleased with the House Health Committee’s decision to defer the bill on assisted suicide today. Throughout the session, many in the community showed their opposition through testimonies and petitions, and we appreciate legislators such as Rep. Della Au Belatti and others on the Health Committee for taking into consideration the community’s concerns and testimonies from medical experts in their decision-making.
“Hawaii is not the only state that has resisted powerful outside forces attempting to influence local legislation. Other communities have also successfully defeated assisted suicide bills in states where Compassion and Choices has mounted well-orchestrated and well-financed efforts to control local policies.
“Although the House Health Committee’s decision to defer this bill is an important milestone, we know the session is not yet over and there is much more work that needs to continue. Testimonies in favor of assisted suicide presented during the legislative committee hearings showed there is a lack of understanding about the role and value of hospice and palliative care. We believe everyone in Hawaii has a right to a quality end-of-life experience. In the coming months, we will shift our efforts to community education to ensure more patients and families demand appropriate and truly compassionate care without having to resort to such drastic measures as lethal drugs to manage their pain.”
—Joy Yadao, RN, spokesperson for Hawaii’s Partnership for Appropriate and Compassionate Care (HPACC)