In Search of Death With Dignity in Hawai‘i

 

A Panel Discussion with The Very Reverend Marc Alexander and Attorney Eli Stutsman, a Board Member of Death With Dignity National Center

 

 University of Hawaii Manoa Campus, 2515 Dole Street

 Classroom 2

 

Parking available in parking structure $4.00

For more information contact: UHELP 956-6544 or uhelp@hawaii.edu            

 

End-of-life care has improved drastically over the past two decades, yet dying patients and their families still report tremendous dissatisfaction with their treatment.  Advanced medical technologies often allow the dying to promote the length, though not necessarily the quality, of their lives.  Current laws permit patients to make important end-of-life decisions such as withholding or withdrawing medical treatment, including medically provided nutrition and hydration. However, some would seek a legal option to end their lives with the assistance of the medical profession. In 2002, Hawaii almost passed such legislation but for 3 votes. Since then, physician aid-in-dying legislation (PAD) or “Death With Dignity” has been proposed nearly every year, but has never passed.

 

The Very Reverend Marc Alexander, Vicar General and Diocesan Theologian of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu and Attorney Eli Stutsman, a Board Member of Death With Dignity National Center and lead author of Oregon's Death With Dignity Act will discuss their opposing views on physician aid in dying as an end of life option. 

 

Both speakers seek end of life options that provide death with dignity but differ in how to attain this goal.  They will discuss the question:

 

 Should an adult who is mentally competent, is a resident of Hawai`i, and has been determined by the attending physician and consulting physician to be dying from a terminal disease, and who has voluntarily expressed his or her wish to hasten death, be permitted to make a written request for medication for the purpose of ending his or her life in a humane and dignified manner in accordance with (proposed) Hawai`i law?