Facts About Assisted Suicide

March 13, 2018

Physician-assisted suicide may become legal in Hawaii, but you can help stop this. A legislative bill is now moving forward in the legislature. This dangerous bill threatens the most vulnerable in our community. More than ever, it is critically important for Christians to know the facts and share their concerns with legislators and others. As Hawaii Family Forum celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, let’s show the world we can make a difference!


Inconsistent Values
One person commits suicide every other day in our islands, and Hawaii is not immune from opioid addiction and deaths from overdose.  While we are trying to save lives and address these situations from becoming worse in our islands, HB 2739 HD 1 seeks to end lives. This sends a confusing message to the community, including our youth.

Erosion of Patient Rights
Proponents of assisted suicide bill, euphemistically called, “Our Care, Our Choice,” claim the current bill gives the right to choose how and when they want to die when they are diagnosed with a terminal illness with less than six months to live. Despite the proposed “safeguards” to ensure patients are taking the lethal drugs on their own free will, there are no safeguards to protect patients against abuse. Once patients receive the lethal drugs, they waive their rights for protection from abuse. There is no requirement for a physician to be present at the time of the suicide and this opens the door to abuse.

No Legal Protection
If HB 2739 becomes law, doctors and nurses would be granted civil and criminal immunity. They just need to document their actions were in accordance with the law and they put forth a good faith effort to comply with all of the law’s requirements. It’s a free get-out-of-jail card. This does not protect patients and families.

No Peaceful Death
Physician-assisted suicides are anything but peaceful, humane or dignified. The following is an excerpt from the Oregon Death With Dignity 2017 annual report: “Data on time from ingestion to death are available for only 40 DWDA (Death with Dignity Act) deaths during 2017. Among those 40 patients, time from ingestion until death ranged from ten minutes to 21 hours.” Enduring more than 20 hours of a slow death cannot be considered peaceful, humane or dignified.

A Better, Safer Solution
Hawaii’s patients today want to maintain greater control over their health care decisions and are demanding more autonomy, especially with ongoing advances in medical technology. Physician-assisted suicide is not the solution. Patients already have control over their end of life wishes and can determine how much or how little care they would like to receive. This is established in advance health care directives, but the majority of Hawaii residents do not understand the power of this valuable document.