Monday, January 29, 2007

Urgent Assisted Suicide Update!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

8:19 AM

Editor: Kelly M. Rosati, JD

Not So Good News

As you know, HB 675 (titled death with dignity), which would legalize physician-assisted suicide, has been inappropriately fast-tracked through a single referral to the House Judiciary Committee, skipping any review by the House Health Committee.

This legislation would seek to expand and regulate the medical practice of Hawaii’s physicians and will dramatically impact Hawaii’s health care delivery system, yet House legislative leaders outrageously want to bypass any review by the Health Committee.

Thankfully, the Chairman of the House Health Committee, Dr. Josh Green asked leadership to re-refer the bill to the Health Committee first. He believes this is a quintessential health issue and as the Legislature’s only physician, he has a unique perspective. Even the Judiciary Chairman, Tommy Waters, (to whom the bill has been referred) has agreed to the re-referral request.

Yet, remarkably, House leaders have verbally indicated that the bill will NOT be re-referred to the Health Committee and Speaker Say has still NOT officially ruled on the re-referral request—more than 24 hours after the request was made. This is not good news.

IF the re-referral request is officially denied, this will be a flagrant abuse of process, skipping a directly relevant and crucial subject matter committee against the will of the relevant Chairs, simply to achieve a pre-determined political outcome.

While we continue to await the official ruling on the re-referral request, please continue to:

1. Call Speaker Calvin Say at 586-6100and fax him at 586-6101 or e-mail him and request re-referral of HB 675 to the Health Com. Also,

2. Call Judiciary Chair Tommy Waters at 586-9450 and fax him at 586-9456 or e-mail him,

A. Thanking him for supporting the re-referral to the Health Committee and

B. Asking him to oppose HB 675 to protect Hawaii’s elderly and disability rights communities from abuse and coercion.

Representative Waters represents Waimanalo and Lanikai. Please especially ask anyone you know in those areas to contact him.

Mahalo for getting involved and taking the time to let us know.

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