July 24, 2019

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Hawaii Becomes 7th “Death with Dignity” State

Terminally Ill

On April 5th 2018, Hawaii’s Governor David Ige signed the Our Care, Our Choice Act into law. The new law gives terminally ill adults the option to request life-ending prescription medication, which they take on their own. Hawaii is the seventh state to legalize medical aid in dying. The law will take effect January 1, 2019.

How it Works

As would be expected, there are many requirements and limitations, including:

  • To qualify, patients must be residents of Hawaii.
  • To be considered terminally ill, patients must have been given six months or less to live.
  • They must also pass a mental health evaluation.
  • The patient must make two oral requests, at least 15 days apart and submit a written request witnesses by two people, only one of which can be a relative. All three requests must go directly to the prescribing doctor.
  • The prescribing doctor must inform the patient of alternatives including hospice care and pain control options.
  • The prescribing physician must also inform the patient of their choice to not fill the prescription, and that if they do fill the prescription that have the choice to not take the medicine.
  • Patients must self-administer the medication.

Other States and Jurisdictions that Allow Physician-Assisted Suicide

Other states and jurisdictions which currently have similar laws include:

To learn more about “death with dignity“ laws and how they may affect you and your family, please contact an experienced attorney and schedule your free initial consultation right away.

About Sandra Dalton

With a background as a paralegal, focusing on criminal defense and civil rights, Sandra Dalton launched her freelance writing career in 2000 with a weekly column on Freedom for Suite 101 and pro bono projects for individuals and organizations supporting causes close to her heart. One of her first projects was for the Police Compliant Center writing about police misconduct. Sandra’s legal writing quickly expanded to include personal injury, animal welfare, criminal defense, disability discrimination, family law and much more.

Sandra’s other writing around the web includes a broad range of topics such as food, pet health, feral cats, music and film. Sandra is also a fine art photographer, helps with animal rescue and TNR in her community, and volunteers as a DJ at her local radio station.