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Hawaii

Current Status

Hawai‘i is the 7th U.S. jurisdiction to have a death with dignity statute. The Our Care, Our Choice Act went into effect on January 1, 2019. See Reports below.

2020 Legislative Session

In the 2020 session, a number of amendments to the Our Care, Our Choice Act were proposed; none advanced to enactment as the Hawaii legislature went into recess because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

SB2582

  • Full text of SB2582
  • Amendment SD1 – adds mental health nurse practitioners to the list of professionals capable of conducting mental health evaluations
  • Bill summary:
    • authorizes advanced practice registered nurses to practice medical aid in dying in accordance with their scope of practice and prescribing authority;
    • reduces the mandatory waiting period between oral requests from 20 to 15 days; and
    • waives the mandatory waiting period for those terminally ill individuals not expected to survive the mandatory waiting period;
    • as amended, authorizes psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, in addition to psychiatrists, psychologists, and clinical social workers, to provide counseling to a qualified patient
  • Legislative history of SB2582
  • Heard in Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health Committee on February 4, 2020 and passed with amendments 6 to 1
  • Passed in the full Senate 19 to 4, with 2 excused, on February 28.

HB2451

  • Full text of HB2451 (companion to SB2582)
    • Amendment HD1 – changes effective date to July 1, 2050
    • Amendment HD2 – removes waiver of the mandatory waiting period to patients not expected to survive it
  • Legislative history of HB2451
  • Heard and passed (with amendments) 5 to 1 in House Health Committee on January 31, 2020; heard and passed (with amendments, HD1) in the House Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee 7 to 3 on February 2; heard and passed (with amendments, HD2) in the House Judiciary Committee 12 to 0 on February 12

SB3047

  • Full text of SB3047
  • Bill summary:
    • allows an advance directive to be a valid written request;
    • allows an attending provider to waive the counseling referral requirement;
    • allows an attending provider to perform duties through telehealth; and
    • requires health insurance policies and contracts issued after 12/31/20 to provide coverage for services related to ending a patient’s life.
  • Legislative history of SB3047
  • Heard in Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health Committee on February 4, 2020, and deferred

Resources and Additional Information

About the Statute and Implementation

Resources for Patients

Resources for Physicians

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What does death with dignity mean to you?

Most people join our movement because of a heartbreaking personal experience. We receive stories of such experiences every day, and every day they inspire us to work toward ensuring terminally-ill Americans have the freedom to decide how they die. We want to hear from you. What's your death with dignity story? What inspired you to get involved in the cause?

History

2019

In the 2019 legislative session, the Hawaii state legislature passed and Governor signed into law SB536, which clarified that “existing laws intended to curb over-access to and abuse of opioids do not apply to qualified patients who are prescribed or issued prescriptions pursuant to the State’s Our Care, Our Choice Act.”

On July 1, 2019, the Department of Health released the first report on the law’s implementation, covering the period from January to May 2019.

2002-2018: The Road to Our Care, Our Choice Act

Efforts to pass a death with dignity law in Hawai‘i date back almost two decades.

Learn more about the history of assisted dying legislation in Hawai‘i ›

Take Action

Share Your Story

Write Now ›

What does death with dignity mean to you?

Most people join our movement because of a heartbreaking personal experience. We receive stories of such experiences every day, and every day they inspire us to work toward ensuring terminally-ill Americans have the freedom to decide how they die. We want to hear from you. What's your death with dignity story? What inspired you to get involved in the cause?

Personal Stories