Monday, October 24, 2011

Lawyer: Hawaii Assisted Suicide is Not "Already Legal"

Hawaii Free Press
by Margaret Dore, J.D.

Kathryn Tucker, Director of Legal Affairs for Compassion & Choices, claims that physician-assisted suicide, which she terms "aid in dying," is already legal in Hawaii.[1]

Her claim, based in part on a 1909 statute, fails for the reasons set forth below.

A. Hawaii's Manslaughter Statute Applies Tucker argues that Hawaii's manslaughter statute, providing that an individual commits manslaughter if "[t]he person intentionally causes another person to commit suicide," does not apply to "aid in dying" because aid in dying is not "suicide."[2]

Just last year, in Blick v. Connecticut, Tucker made a similar argument that was summarily rejected by the trial court.[3] The trial judge stated: "[T]he legislature intended the [manslaughter] statute to apply to physicians who assist a suicide . . ." [4]

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