January 15, 2017 update

Aloha,

The long effort to pass a Hawai`i Physicians Aid In Dying bill in 2017 has been greatly enhanced by a series of broadcast and published media stories and a new state-wide Hawai`i poll. Find the media stories just below this message. Also know that our bill will be announced at the opening of the Legislature on January 18th “with broad support from lawmakers.” And, a November 2016 statewide survey by the respected Anthology Marketing Group showed “80 percent of Hawaii voters support medical aid in dying, across all demographics including age, race, religion and geographic location. Six other states explicitly authorize aid in dying: Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Montana, California and Colorado; there is not a single documented case of abuse or coercion.” Learn more about the poll HERE

Much work remains to be done in the coming days and weeks and this will not happen without YOUR active participation. Please consider contacting your state legislators TODAY. Find their contact information HERE. Identify your State Senator and Representative using the search box (by street address) in the upper right corner “Find Your Legislator.” One does not need to sign in to use this search field.

If you prefer to phone, simply leave a message on their recorder or tell whoever answers that, “I’m a voter living in your district and I support the passage of the Death With Dignity law now.” It’s that simple and you are added to the stick figure list of “For” and “against.” In the end, it’s a simple numbers game (think “re-election). IMPORTANT: Be sure to leave your phone number and Zip Code on a machine or it won’t count. 

If you can send us a donation of any amount, please consider that too. Either use the “Donate” button (upper right) or you can send a check by snail mail to our national partnering organization:

The Death With Dignity National Center
520 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 1220
Portland, Oregon 97204

Mahalo! for your dedication and support over these many years. Regards – Scott Foster

 

01/14/2017 More supportive media …

January 13, 2017
Death And Taxes: Two Certainties For This Year’s Hawaii Legislature
By Chad Blair

Can a longtime lobbyist sick with cancer persuade the Hawaii Legislature to pass medical aid in dying legislation? If anyone can do it, it might be John Radcliffe. He has represented clients with interests as varied as gambling, genetically modified foods and vacation rentals. After decades in island politics, Radcliffe has a lot of friends in the big square building on Beretania Street. Now terminally ill, he wants patients like him to have a say in end-of-life decisions. While the proposal has failed several times before, primarily because of the opposition of religious organizations and some medical groups, six states including California now permit an end-of-life medical care option. More HERE

-###-

Thursday, January 12th 2017

 

Dying Cancer patient John Radcliffe has filed lawsuit

Aid in dying movement files suit to push for change to Hawaii law
By Shawn Ching, News Anchor / Reporter

A group advocating for the passage of medical “aid in dying” bill is also turning to the courts to see that Hawaii law allows terminally ill patients to end their own lives. The group, Compassion and Choices Hawaii, along with terminally ill cancer patient John Radcliffe and his doctor have filed a lawsuit against the state and the city prosecutor on the issue. The lawsuit hopes to have the court clarify that medical aid in dying, also known as physician-assisted suicide, is not a crime under Hawaii law. Complete video and text HERE

-###-

Thursday, January 12th 2017

Should people be allowed to end their own lives? A Hawaii lobbyist with Terminal Cancer wants to make that choice with the help of a physician. As KITV’s Nicole Carvalho reports, the decision to do that is now up to lawmakers. See video story HERE

-###-

MORE …

January 12, 2017

Dying Cancer Patient Leads Suit Asserting Hawaii Law Allows Medical Aid in Dying

Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing and Compassion & Choices filed suit on Wednesday on behalf of a Hawaii resident with terminal cancer, John Radcliffe, and a physician asserting the Hawaii constitution and existing state law allow the practice of medical aid in dying. Medical aid in dying gives mentally competent, terminally ill adults the option to request a doctor’s prescription for medication they can take to peacefully end an unbearable dying process peacefully. Read more HERE

December 29, 2017

-###- 

December 29, 2017

 

Listen up legislators: It’s time to quit forcing unnecessary suffering and expense on terminally ill people who want a different option.
By Kathleen Kozak

In a recent study conducted by researchers at Stanford University and published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, 76.5 percent of Hawaii residents surveyed support physician-assisted death. This year in the Legislature, incoming Sen. Karl Rhoads plans to propose a bill to legalize this action and join six other states (California, Oregon, Montana, Washington, Vermont and New Mexico) that already allow doctors to prescribe lethal doses of medication for the express purpose of allowing patients to end their lives. Seventy-six percent of Hawaii residents — this seems like a much different story than in 2002, the closest the measure ever came to passing in the islands when it failed by only three votes. Now, four former governors have petitioned publicly to have this bill passed. Learn more HERE

 

-###-

 

 

 

And even more!

December 19, 2016
Editorial| Letters
Dying should be a personal matter
By Francis M. Nakamoto
In 2002, the state Legislature defeated the Death with Dignity bill. It would have allowed Hawaii’s people to decide by and for ourselves when we want to die.
Many people in Hawaii support allowing ourselves the right to decide, with medical advice, when it is the best time to die.
Only after a determination of terminal illness with a short life expectancy, will we be allowed to receive life-ending medication we would take by ourselves — no more unnecessary, painful, undignified prolongation of an undesired life out of the control of the person who is dying.
Dying is a very personal matter. Only one person should have the right to decide on what terms he or she will spend their last days. So many have been denied that right since 2002.
Those who die in the future, which means all of us, should no longer be deprived of that very fundamental, personal right.
-###-

DECEMBER 18, 2016
Support For Aid In Dying
A recent survey says 80 percent of Hawaii voters believe a medical aid in dying option should be available.
By Chad Blair
Read the story HERE

December 15, 2016 Update

 

khnl

Wednesday, December 14th 2016
Lawmakers to take up ‘death with dignity’ bill in new year
By Jim Mendoza, Reporter

View the video story HERE 

###

thinktechlogolarge

December 14, 2016
Navigating the Journey
Death with Dignity Society – End of Life Advocacy with Scott Foster

Navigating the Journey is dedicated to assisting people talk about their wishes and options for end-of-life. Scott Foster, co-founder and Communications Director of the Hawai`i Death With Dignity Society joins Marsha Rose Joyner to discuss his work expanding options at the Hawai`i Death With Dignity Society.

-###-

thinktechlogolarge

Navigating the Journey
View five archived shows HERE

###

StarAdvertiserMAST

December 15, 2016

A letter signed by former Hawai`i Governors George Ariyoshi (1974-1986), John Waihee (1987-1994), Benjamin Cayetano (1995-2002) and Neil Abercrombie (2010-2014) urging the Hawai`i State Legislature to hear and pass an“End of Life Options Act” in 2017 was published in the Island Voices section of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on December 15, 2016. Read the letter HERE.

###

Get involved

Aloha and welcome!

If you want to see a Hawai`i Death with Dignity bill passed in 2017, NOW is the time to become actively involved. Our bill is in the draft stage and we will let you know more about that in the coming days.

If you’re not yet signed up to receive our email messages, please consider doing that now. It’s easy. Just look to your right and follow the easy opt-in instructions at “JOIN OUR MAILING LIST.” You should receive an immediate “Thank you” email. It’s that easy.

Because of many years laying the ground work in Hawai`i and across the nation, we are now poised to pass a Death With Dignity bill in 2017. It won’t be easy and our effort will require everyone’s strong commitment. We, your Hawai`i based on-the-ground organization cannot do it without your active engagement.

If you can send us a donation of any amount, please consider that too. Either use the “Donate” button (upper right) or you can send a check by snail mail to our national partnering organization:

Death With Dignity National Center
520 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 1220
Portland, Oregon 97204

Mahalo for your interest and kokua. Should you have a question, please phone me after 8 am – Midnight 7 days a week. Regards – Scott Foster, Communications Director 808-590-5880 (on O`ahu).

P.S. View the latest (and earlier) Oregon State statistics HERE.

Scope: “Stanford study finds support in Hawaii for physician-assisted death”

stanford-logo

The Stanford Medicine publication Scope has reported that more than 3 in 4 Hawaii resident support Death with Dignity.

“Among the 1,095 responses from California and 819 from Hawaii, the majority — both in California (72.5 percent) and Hawaii (76.5 percent) — were supportive of physician-assisted death.”

Read the article HERE

Honolulu Star Advertiser: “Death with dignity advocate seeks right to choose”

StarAdvertiserMAST

The Honolulu Star Advertiser today published a profile of Scott Foster, Co-Founder of the Hawaii Death with Dignity Society.

SFheadshotHSA

Scott Foster, Co-Founder, Hawaii Death With Dignity Society: “I’ve witnessed so many older people whose quality of life goes to nothing, especially in those last months.”

For Scott Foster, getting a law passed in Hawaii to allow terminally ill people to end their lives is a personal matter. The 73-year-old co-founder of the Hawaii Death With Dignity Society has been working to attain such a law for 30 years. “I’m aging and it’s a very real issue. … When I can no longer take care of myself, it becomes a quality-of-life issue,” Foster said, adding that with no relatives and few close friends, he wonders who would be able to care for him. “I want full control over my end of life as best I can.” Foster, the recently elected chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii’s Kupuna Caucus, ran on a platform of senior health care and end-of-life issues, including a proposed “death with dignity” law that would allow a doctor to write a prescription for a lethal drug.

Continue reading HERE.

Honolulu Star Advertiser: “End-of-life talks with family are key”

StarAdvertiserMAST

In today’s issue of the Honolulu Star Advertiser, Pat Gee discusses the importance of conversations at the end of life.

Start talking to relatives about how they want to die before they become critically ill. That’s Jade Young’s strongly held take on the matter. As a hospice educator and chaplain who has witnessed many families, including her own, struggle with end-of-life decisions during a time of anguish, Young advises, “An advance health care directive is a must, must, must.” Young was among the panelists at an event titled “End-of-Life Options and Dying With Dignity: Next Steps,” which was moderated by Mary Steiner of Compassion & Choices Hawaii. About 60 people attended the monthly Open Table discussion Tuesday, hosted by The Interfaith Alliance Hawai‘i at the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu.

Continue reading HERE.