KOAT Action News
Hawaii’s new medically-assisted suicide law has gone into effect, but few doctors and pharmacies are willing to prescribe and dispense the life-ending medications.
Hawaii Pacific Health and The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu said their pharmacies will not fill the prescriptions and hospitalized patients will not be able to take the lethal drugs on their campuses, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday. . . [Full text]
Audrey McAvoy, Associated Press
HONOLULU (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union
demanded Thursday that a Hawaii retirement home stop
discriminating against non-Catholic residents and allow them
to take advantage of the state’s new medically assisted
suicide law if they wish.
The ACLU of Hawaii sent a letter to the executive director of the Kahala Nui home after receiving an anonymous tip that the home had notified residents they would not be permitted to exercise the provisions of the law, which takes effect in January. . . [Full text]
Assisted suicide will become legal in Hawaii on 1 January, 2019, as a result of the passage of the Our Care, Our Choice Act. Introduced in the state House of Representatives only in January, it passed both the House and Senate and was approved by Governor David Ige on 5 April. Beginning next year, physicians will be able to write prescriptions for lethal medications for Hawaiian residents who are capable of informed consent, who are at least 18 years old, and who have been diagnosed with a terminal, incurable disease expected to result in death within six months.1
And beginning next year, Hawaiian physicians who refuse to facilitate assisted suicide by referring patients to a willing colleague may face discipline — including expulsion from the medical profession — or other legal liabilities. Hawaii could become one of only two jurisdictions in the world where willingness to refer patients for suicide is a condition for practising medicine.2 . . . [Full text]
New York Law Journal
A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed rule that would more vigorously protect health care providers’ ability to deny coverage in certain circumstances because of moral or religious beliefs should be withdrawn, according to a coalition of state attorneys general.
The proposed rule would strengthen the enforcement of existing regulations that allow providers to invoke conscientious objections as a basis for refusing to provide care that involves certain medical issues, including abortion, sterilization, assisted suicide and others. It also would allow individual providers to object to informing patients about their medical options or referring them to providers of those options. . . [Full Text]
A Hawaiian law concerning insurance for contraceptive coverage has been cited as a model for a possible compromise between the Obama administration and religious groups that have made clear that they will resist or refuse to obey its new birth control regulation. Organizations in Hawaii that object to contraception for religious reasons may decline to provide health insurance coverage for it if they advise employees that it is not available and tell them where coverage can be obtained. It is reported that it is generally successful, but that there are some problems with the arrangement. [NCR]