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Hawaiian Death with Dignity bill deferred

Following intense debate, the death with dignity bill was deferred on March 23 2017 by legislators. The bill would allow terminally ill patients to obtain prescriptions for lethal doses of medication. 


The bill was stopped in committee before it could go to a full vote on the House floor. The House Health Committee recommended to defer Senate Bill 1129. A decision to defer a bill is meant to kill the measure for the year.


The bill was a top priority of the Hawaii Democratic Party and passed the full Senate by a 22-3 vote earlier this month, see this earlier news item. Both the House speaker and Senate president showed their support of the measure at the beginning of this year’s legislative session, and several past governors had come out publicly in support of the bill.


The bill, which was modelled after Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act, enacted in 1997, would apply to residents who have been diagnosed as having six months or less to live.