New Assisted Suicide Bill Introduced in Hawaii Legislature

By Gudrun Schultz

  HONOLULU, Hawaii, January 30, 2007 ( - Euthanasia activists in the state of Hawaii have introduced yet another bill in an attempt to legalize assisted suicide, the fourth measure to be brought forward since 1999.

  Senate Bill No. 1995, entitled Death with Dignity, would make it legal for a physician to prescribe lethal medication to a patient diagnosed as “terminally ill.”

  A previous measure introduced in the 2005 legislature session was killed by lawmakers after intense debate. Two previous attempts to pass similar legislation also failed. In 2002 the Hawaii House approved two house bills that would have amended the constitution to permit assisted suicide under guidelines similar to those of Oregon state, but the measures were narrowly defeated by the Senate.

  Attorney Wesley J. Smith, leading US euthanasia opponent and bioethics critic, said by failing to specify what would constitute “terminal illness,” the current measure would in effect open the door to a broad application in situations ranging from asymptomatic AIDS to diabetes, cancers and other diseases that, while ultimately terminal, do not pose a threat of imminent death.

“This bill shows that the ultimate goal of the movement is a wide license approaching death on demand,” Smith wrote on his blogsite.

  As, well, Smith condemned the bill for denying doctors the freedom to refuse to participate in assisted suicide.

“We so often hear that physician-assisted suicide is about "choice"—the patient’s to die, and the doctor’s to either facilitate suicide or not. But the new Hawaii bill to legalize assisted suicide requires doctors to participate—either by prescribing poison or cooperating with an "alternate physician" who does the deed,” Smith wrote. “And note, the alternate physician need not even examine the patient, but rather, is a mere order taker who may not even have to meet the patient face to face.”

“Forcing doctors to cooperate in assisted suicides, even those they don’t wish to commit, is in keeping with the agenda of normalizing killing into a mere medical treatment.

“Also note that the patient only need be "capable" of communicating his desire to have suicide, which is a different standard than being competent. Capable is defined in the bill thusly : "Capable" means that, in the opinion of a court or in the opinion of the patient’s attending physician or consulting physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist, a patient has the ability to make and communicate health care decisions to health care providers, including communication through persons familiar with the patient’s manner of communicating if those persons are available."

“Typical "choice" gibberish from the death on demand crowd.”

  Read full text of S.B No. 1995:

  Link to Wesley J. Smith’s blogsite:

  See related LifeSiteNews coverage:



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