Hawaii's people have been spared yet again from the threat of deadly assisted suicide legislation. After a recent legislative hearing for Hawaii Senate Bill 803, patterned after Oregon's assisted suicide law, the measure was unanimously deferred by a senate committee after overwhelming opposition from people across the state. Those with disabilities, caregivers, healthcare professionals, and many others from all walks of life gave compelling reasons to oppose the bill.
Kevin Inouye, who wore a sticker saying, "No doctor-prescribed death," spoke from his wheelchair. He explained that he contemplated suicide following an accident that left him paralyzed and that if the law had allowed it, he would have wanted to get a prescription for death. He then said, "As soon as my situation got a little bit better and I learned to live with my disabilities, I wanted to live again."
Artist Kim Howard testified that she has been a quadriplegic for 20 years but that she lives a fulfilling life and paints seascapes by holding a brush with her mouth. She declared, "We do not need a law that is presented to people when they are vulnerable, sick and unable to think clearly."
Kevin and Kim are right. Assisted suicide preys on those who might make a decision during a time of despair, that if given time and support, could change. We need to keep working to let others know that assisted suicide is not the answer and that help and hope are available. Your gift will help us continue this effort. Please click here to give your tax deductible gift now.