PRESS RELEASE - May 2, 2002
Physicians for Compassionate Care
P.O. Box 6042
Portland, Oregon 97228
(503) 533-8154; Fax (503) 533-0429
HAWAII LEGISLATURE REJECTS ASSISTED SUICIDE
Today, May 2, 2002, the Hawaii legislature heeded the warning of
their state medical, nursing, and hospice organizations about the
abuses that have taken place with assisted suicide in Oregon. The
Hawaii senate rejected a well orchestrated effort to pass an assisted-suicide
law similar to Oregon's. Yesterday, proponents of the Hawaii assisted-suicide
bill claimed a high likelihood that their legislation would pass.
Instead, the bill was defeated by a vote in the Hawaii senate of
14 to 11.
Since Oregon passed its assisted-suicide law, claims by proponents
that many states would soon pass similar laws have proved unfounded.
The majority of state legislatures have considered the issue and
all of them have rejected assisted suicide. More than a dozen states
in the past 10 years have strengthened laws against assisted suicide
rather than following Oregon's lead. California, Maine, Michigan
and Washington have all defeated assisted-suicide referenda. Liberal
state supreme courts in Florida and Alaska have rejected assisted
suicide. The U.S. Supreme Court found in 1997 that there is no constitutional
right to assisted suicide.
"The Hawaii legislature has done its duty. It has protected the
vulnerable and disabled people who count on it to represent them," Doctor
Hamilton of Physicians for Compassionate Care said. "The Hawaii legislature
has duly noted the abuses already documented in Oregon and heeded
their own medical, nursing, and hospice organizations to reject this
dangerous, irresponsible and discriminatory law. Physicians in Hawaii
know they can provide patients with the pain treatment and palliative
care they need without ever resorting to assisted suicide. Hooray
All statements may be quoted as from Dr. Gregory Hamilton, spokesperson
for PCC, where he is co-founder and past-president. For further information
call Dr. Hamilton at 503-816-2224.