Death with Dignity National Center today applauds Hawaii Governor David Ige for signing the Our Care, Our Choice Act into law. Modeled on the groundbreaking Oregon Death with Dignity Act, the law allows qualified terminally ill adult residents of Hawaii who are mentally competent and within 6 months of death to legally obtain a prescription medication to end their life in a humane and dignified manner. Hawaii becomes the seventh U.S. jurisdiction to enact an assisted dying statute.
Executive Director of the Death with Dignity National Center, Peg Sandeen, said, “The time was right for Hawaii to adopt this law. For nearly two decades Death with Dignity National Center has worked with citizens, legislators, and leaders in Hawaii to bring the right to die with dignity to the people of Hawaii. Today marks a new beginning in Hawaii’s treatment of the terminally ill.”
Death with Dignity marks the new law as a monumental step forward for all Americans who want the freedom to make their own end-of-life decisions. Hawaii residents will now enjoy the same autonomy, freedom, and peace of mind at the end of their lives as the residents of Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California, Colorado, and Washington, D.C.
Death with Dignity National Center is grateful to the many citizens of Hawaii who advocated for this law for the courage to speak out and begin this conversation and to the members of the Legislature who recognized that the will of voters could no longer be ignored.
Today marks a new beginning in Hawaii’s treatment of the terminally ill.
Sandeen added, “The laws in other states, particularly Oregon where it has been in effect for more than 20 years, have proven flawless in their implementation, protecting the rights of patients, family members, and health care professionals as they work through this process. The safeguards Hawaii state legislators have enacted into this law will ensure that patients are in control of this process and make their own decisions at every step of the way—as is their right.”
The Our Care, Our Choice Act will go into effect on January 1, 2019.
Featured image by CaptSpaulding.