Gov. Ige Urges House to ‘Pass Death With Dignity Bill

February 27, 2018

Original Article

Gov. David Ige is urging the House Committee on Health and Human Services and the House Judiciary Committee to approve HB 2739, otherwise known as the “Death with Dignity Bill.”

“It’s time for this bill to become law,” said Gov. Ige. “Mentally competent, terminally ill people who are in pain and who are suffering should be given the choice to end their lives with grace, dignity and peace. I would be proud and honored to sign this bill into law if our state legislators pass this measure this session.”

The bill establishes a regulatory process under which mentally competent adults with medically confirmed terminal illnesses with less than six months to live, may choose to obtain a prescription for medication to end the patient’s life. The measure also makes it a criminal offense to tamper with a patient’s request for a prescription or to coerce a patient to request a prescription.

Administrative Director Ford Fuchigami testified before the House committees on behalf of the governor.

“The Governor’s Office believes this bill is important to allow terminally ill patients to decide for themselves when and how their lives should end. We believe HB 2739 is well drafted in a context of a robust continuum of palliative and hospice care, and provides sufficient safe-guards for both patients and doctors to minimize abuse,” Director Fuchigami said.

At least 30 states have either enacted or considered enacting similar Death with Dignity bills.