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Monday, February 26, 2024
Reports show assisted suicide continues to grow in Hawaii
By Selected News Articles @ 3:52 PM :: 1400 Views :: Health Care, Life

Reports show assisted suicide continues to grow in Hawaii

by Leslie Wolfgang, Live Action, February 26, 2024

According to reports, 197 prescriptions have been written for death-inducing drugs in Hawaii since the passage of the state’s “medical aid in dying” law in 2019. Of those 197 prescriptions written between 2019 and 2022, 166 of those people have died. 

It is unclear from the reports issued by the Department of Health Office of Planning, Policy, and Program Development whether the 31 outstanding prescriptions were used, were lost, or remain unused but somewhere accessible to the general public. It is also unclear what percentage of patients outlived their “six-month prognosis” required in order to receive a prescription under the law.

New this year, the Department has asked the legislature to no longer require the reporting of “the number of known deaths in Hawaii from a prescription written pursuant to this chapter per five-thousand [5,000] deaths in Hawaii” as unhelpful and useless information. The report states:

The Department of Health recommends the repeal of the reporting requirement under section 327L-14(d)(5), “the number of known deaths in Hawaii from a prescription written pursuant to this chapter per five-thousand deaths in Hawaii.” This metric is unnecessary and reveals no substantive additional information since deaths-per-5,000 is an arbitrary rate, and since not all deaths by ingestion of medication dispensed pursuant to Chapter 327L are documented.

According to a 2022 report, the number of prescriptions in 2021 (70 total) exceeded the number of prescriptions from the prior two years combined (67 total). Despite this, the legislature expanded access to assisted suicide in 2023. It reduced waiting periods and permitted advance practice nurses to prescribe deadly drugs and assess mental capacity. According to Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, an even greater increase in assisted suicide is expected in future years because on the expanded law. 

A flyer by the Patient Rights Action Fund identifies the numerous “bait and switch” tactics used by activists to first pass assisted suicide in a given state and then expand it afterward. The flyer highlights actual quotes from several national activists and includes citations. The activists explain in various forums how narrow bills with many safeguards are initially offered to hesitant legislators, in order to get the concept initially passed. Then after passage, assisted suicide advocates work to expand the law by eliminating those safeguards. This tactic has also been used by many pro-abortion legislators to open the door to limited abortion, only to rapidly expand it once a law is in place.

The Hawaii administrative agency charged with tracking data and issuing their annual reports regularly makes recommendations for increased access to assisted suicide in their state, and is also regularly invited to participate in online webinars with activist organizations.


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