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Thursday, December 29, 2011
Assisted suicide still a no-go in Aloha State
By Selected News Articles @ 3:02 PM :: 6094 Views :: Energy, Environment

by Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow

In spite of proponents' unique approach to legalize it, Hawaii's ban on doctor-assisted suicide remains in place.Rita Marker (Patients Rights Council)

Supporters of assisted suicide tried to use a 1909 law that permits the use remedies not typically authorized for terminally ill patients, but Hawaii Attorney General David Louie has responded in a legal opinion that the state law "does not authorize physicians to assist terminally ill patients with dying." Attorney Rita Marker, who heads the Patients Rights Council, tells OneNewsNow what the dated law was meant to address.

"The reason, of course, for that law was so that patients with tuberculosis and leprosy and a number of other, at that time, totally untreatable conditions ... could get herbal medications ... untried and untested, as far as the medical community went, but the people wouldn't be prosecuted for providing those sorts of things ... that could actually make them more comfortable," she explains.

But Marker says proponents "twisted" that around to suggest it would be legal to give a lethal dose of drugs to those patients, when, in fact, that is not a medical treatment.

"That doesn't even pass the laugh test or the smell test, given the fact that they are the very ones that have been saying for years that you need to change the law so that doctor-prescribed suicide would be acceptable," the attorney contends. "And now, the attorney general in Hawaii has rightfully shot their argument out of the sky, and it's gone plummeting to earth."

However, she goes on to warn that this is not the last word, saying the strategy of assisted-suicide supporters is to keep hammering until they obtain their objective.

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