Volume 2, Issue 3                                                                                                            March 13, 2002

Kelly M. Rosati, J.D., Editor                                                                               Eva M. Simmons, Contributor

                                          UPDATE ON PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE
   Inside this issue:                  PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED                ing the opposition to this pro-
                                                                         posal among the elderly in her     4 REASONS TO OPPOSE
                                       SUICIDE—DEAD OR                   district. Attorney and Repre-
                                                                         sentative Paul Whalen (R-
   House Vote on              2        ALIVE?                            Kona) urged his colleagues to
                                                                         reconsider the legal implica-      SUICIDE (PAS)
   Physician -Assisted
   Suicide                                                               tions of establishing such a       ♦ PAS will forever transform
                                       On March 7, 2002, the State       “right” to assisted suicide. If     the role of physician from
   Communications Corner      3        House of Representatives          such a right is based on            one who preserves life to
                                       passed legislation legalizing     autonomy, he warned, that           one who takes life. This will
                                       physician-assisted suicide        right will not be able to stay      lead to a speedy deteriora-
   Misc. Announcements        3        despite strong bipartisan op-     limited to those with a terminal    tion of the physician-patient
                                       position. House Bill (HB)         illness.                                         relationship,
                                       2487 HD1, which would legal-                                                       which will ad-
   Legislative Update: Bill   4        ize physician-assisted suicide                                                     versely affect
   Status Report                                                         Unfortunately,
                                       for patients declared to have
                                       only 6 months to live, passed
                                                                         many in the        Any so-called right to die the entire health
                                                                                                                          care delivery
                                                                         chamber did
                                       30-20 after 2 ½ hours of de-                         would inevitably lead to a system.
                                                                         not heed the
                                       bate. Six of the votes in favor
                                                                         warnings of           duty to die, with elderly
 “ The slippery slope, fear of abuse   of the measure were cast
                                                                         their colleagues patients feeling the subtle ♦ PAS would
 and coercion among elderly per-       “with reservations”, indicating
 sons and persons with disabilities,   some concern with the pro-
                                                                         and HB 2487          (and, perhaps, not so sub- leave society’s
 and the creation of a ‘duty to die’                                     has now
                                                                         crossed over to tle) obligation to end their poor, sick, eld-
                                       posal. (See vote tally on page                                                       most vulnerable
 are reasons the Supreme Court         2).
 cited when declaring there is no                                        the Senate. It         lives prematurely so as erly and dis-
 constitutional right to physician-                                      has been re-        not to be a burden to their abled popula-
 assisted suicide.”                                                      ferred to the
                                       Many Representatives were                                  families and society.     tions subject to
                                       eloquent in their opposition      Senate Health                                      abuse and coer-
                       —Kelly Rosati   and even the proponents con-      Committee,                                         cion—no matter
                Letter to the Editor   ceded that concerns regarding     where the                                          what the pro-
                     March 5, 2002     “safeguards” against abuse        Chairman                                           posed safe-
                                       and coercion were reason-         David Matsuura (D – Hilo) has          guards. The slippery slope
                                       able. In the end, however,        held firm by his promise NOT
 Important Reminders:                                                    to hold a hearing on physi-
                                                                                                                to involuntary physician-
                                       many proponents expressed a                                              assisted death would be-
 J Keep praying for your               personal desire to have the       cian-assisted suicide. As a            come a reality. Just as it
   legislators and key                 option of physician-assisted      result, the bill appears likely to     has in the Netherlands.
   government officials.               suicide when facing the end of    die.
                                       their lives.
 J Stay informed on the                                                                                     ♦ Any so-called right to die
                                                                         However, there is still signifi-
   issues. If you have any                                                                                    would inevitably lead to a
                                       Representative Bud Stone-         cant time remaining until ad-
   questions at all, please                                              journment May 2 and anything         duty to die, with elderly pa-
                                       braker (R–Hawaii Kai) told his
   feel free to call us at                                               can happen. As such, NOW             tients feeling the subtle
                                       colleagues about the disas-                                            (and, perhaps, not so sub-
   230-2100.                           trous euthanasia experience       IS THE TIME TO REGISTER
                                                                                                              tle) obligation to end their
                                       in the Netherlands, warning       YOUR OPINION WITH YOUR
 J Submit testimony on leg-                                              STATE SENATOR. (Phone                lives prematurely so as not
                                       them of the unintended conse-
   islative bills. Call, write,                                          numbers for the State Sena-          to be a burden to their fami-
                                       quences of this so-called                                              lies and society.
   or e-mail your represen-            “compassionate” proposal.         tors are listed on page 2 of
   tatives. Encourage your             Representative Ahu Isa (D—        this newsletter). Call us at
   friends and family to do            Alewa Heights, Kapalama,          (808) 230-2100 if you need         ♦ PAS would immeasurably
   the same.                           Liliha, Nuuanu, Puunui) talked    help finding out who your            diminish the sanctity and
                                       of her commitment to life, not-   Senator is.                          value of all human life.
 ¦ YES VOTES                          Theilen, Cynthia                 Kahikina, Michael                  SENATE MEMBERS

 Case, Ed                             Yonamine, Nobu                   Leong, Bertha                      Buen, Jan                    586-7340

                                                                                                          Bunda, Robert                586-6090
 Chang, Jerry                                                          Magaoay, Michael
                                                                                                          Chumbley, Avery              586-6030
 Garcia, Nestor                       ¦ YES W/ RES                     McDermott, Bob
                                                                                                          Chun, Jonathan               586-7344
 Hale, Helen                          Arakaki, Dennis                  Meyer, Colleen                     Chun-Oakland, Suzanne        586-6130
 Hamakawa, Eric                       Djou, Charles                    Moses, Mark                        English, J. Kalani           587-7225

 Hiraki, Bob                          Kawakami, Bertha                 Ontai, Guy                         Fukunaga, Carol              586-6890

 Ito, Ken                             Lee, Marilyn                     Rath, Jim                          Hanabusa, Colleen            586-7793

                                                                                                          Hemmings, Fred               587-8388
 Jaffe, Mindy                         Souki, Joe                       Stonebraker, Bud
                                                                                                          Hogue, Bob                   587-7215
 Kanoho, Ezra                         Yoshinaga, Terry Nui             Whalen, Paul
                                                                                                          Ige, David Y.                586-6230
 Luke, Sylvia
                                                                                                          Ihara, Les                   586-6250
 Marumoto, Barbara                    ¦ NO VOTES                       EXCUSED                            Inouye, Lorraine             586-7335
 Morita, Hermina                      Abinsay, Felipe                  Pendleton , David                  Kanno, Brian                 586-6830

 Nakasone, Bob                                                         (Would have voted NO)              Kawamoto, Cal                586-6970
                                      Ahu Isa, Lei
 Oshiro, Blake                                                                                            Kim, Donna Mercado           587-7200
                                      Auwae, Emily
 Oshiro, Marcus                                                        Although it seems clear            Kokubun, Russell             586-6760
                                      Bukoski, Kika
                                                                       that the Senate Health             Matsunaga, Matt              586-7100
 Saiki, Scott                         Cabreros, Benjamin               Committee will not be              Matsuura, David M.           586-7788
 Say, Calvin                          Davis, Ron                       hearing the bill, we en-           Menor, Ron                   586-6740
 Schatz, Brian                        Espero, Willie                   courage you to contact             Nakata, Bob                  586-7330
                                                                       your Senator. If you
 Suzuki, Nathan                       Fox, Galen                                                          Sakamoto, Normon             586-8585
                                                                       are not sure who your
 Takai, K. Mark                       Gomes, Joe                       Senator is, please call            Slom, Sam                    586-8420

                                                                       us at (808) 230-2100.              Tam, Rod                     586-6450
 Takamine, Dwight                     Halford, Chris
                                                                                                          Taniguchi, Brian T.          586-6460
 Takumi, Roy

 [Submitted by Kelly Rosati, JD, to the main      doned because of the so-called “safeguards”        physician assisted suicide.
 dailies on March 5, 2002 in response to Roland   put in place. Now both practices are legal              The slippery slope, fear of abuse and
 Halpern’s letter to the editor.]                 and the government’s own reports show that         coercion among elderly persons and persons
                                                  direct killing by the physician is 10 times        with disabilities, and the creation of a ‘duty to
 Dear Editor:                                     more common than assisted suicide and that,        die’ are reasons the U.S. Supreme Court
                                                  at one point, 1/3 of the patients killed had not   cited when declaring there is no constitu-
      Roland Halpern misapprehends the rea-       given their explicit consent. That is the slip-
 son for noting the Netherlands experience in                                                        tional right to physician assisted suicide.
                                                  pery slope.                                        They are the reasons why 49 states have
 the discussion of physician-assisted suicide.
 Those who oppose the current physician               It is also wholly disingenuous of physician    rejected physician assisted suicide. They are
 assisted suicide proposals being debated at      assisted suicide proponents to act as if dis-      the reasons why no state legislature has ever
 the capitol are well aware of the distinctions   cussion of physician assisted death as a next      legalized physician assisted suicide. They
 between those proposals and the situation in     step is somehow unwarranted when they,             are the reasons why the electorate in 4 other
 the Netherlands. The Netherlands experi-         themselves, proposed legalizing both physi-        states rejected physician assisted suicide
 ence is nevertheless instructive because it is   cian assisted suicide and physician assisted       when it was put on their state ballots. And
 evidence of where we would be headed if the      death in 1999. In May of 1998, the majority        they are just some of the reasons why Hawaii
 legislature legalized physician assisted sui-    report from Governor Cayetano’s Blue Rib-          should reject physician assisted suicide as
 cide. In the Netherlands, both physician as-     bon Panel on Living and Dying with Dignity         well. To dismiss them so out-of hand is irre-
 sisted suicide and physician assisted death      recommended legalizing both physician as-          sponsible.
 have been practiced for decades. While           sisted suicide and physician assisted death.            As to Oregon leading by example, I hope
                                                  To pretend that reality doesn’t exist is the                                  (Continued on page 3)
 illegal for most of that time, both were con-
                                                  real misinformation marring the debate on

Page 2                                                                                                                            Hawaii Family Forum
 COMMUNICATION CONNECTION                                              From the Director of Communications
     Abnormal afternoon traffic caused me to         message. In other words, as long as you          “tomorrow.” [The final day to view the cur-
 run a few minutes late. I have to admit that        throw in one sentence about abstinence,          riculum. Please note that there was only
 I was a little nonchalant about viewing my          you are adhering to state law.                   two days of viewing.]
 daughter’s upcoming curriculum. I mean,                  Was this appropriate material for a ten         The “viewing” lasted only about 20 min-
 after all, how offensive would the curriculum       year old child? No way. I was almost too         utes. My decision to “opt- out” my daughter
 for 5th grade sex education be?                     shocked to say anything. The mother who          was sealed. I thanked the librarian for al-
     A video was playing as I walked in. It          sat to my left thought the pictures of two       lowing me to view the materials and then I
 was easy to find a seat as there were only          doggies in the “act” were “cute.” “The kids      left the school. In shambles, I might add.
 two other parents there. The graphic on             will love this.” She said. Once again, I reit-      This just happened two weeks ago. My
 the television caught me by surprise, but I         erate that this material will be                           daughter attends a public grade
 accepted that the naked body would defi-            shown to children. Ten year                                school here in Hawaii. Parents
 nitely be part of the education. The words,         old, 5th grade, children.                                  need to know that it is their right
 however, used to describe the picture put              The only other parent in the                            and duty to find out exactly what
 me on edge. The librarian “fast forwarded”          room, a father, stood up and                               their kids are learning in school.
 the video on numerous occasions. I guess            announced that he had seen                                 Six parents out of a class of a
 I would need to make a “special” appoint-           enough. His questions were                                 hundred students took time out of
 ment if I wanted to view the video in its           answered. His body language                                their busy schedules to view their
 entirety. Unfortunately, I’d have to rate this      made it clear that he was not                              child’s curriculum. I’ll bet that if
 article as “under 17 not admitted without           impressed by the videos and                                ALL the parents saw what their
 parent” if I described what I did get to see in     booklets that we were shown.                               kids would be learning, at least
 the few short minutes allotted to me. Suf-                                                                     half of them would choose to opt
 fice it to say that I was upset.                        “I became sexually active at
                                                     fourteen. I contracted the                                 their child out. Maybe then the
     First of all, keep in mind that this curricu-   AIDS virus by eighteen,” an obviously gay        State would take notice.
 lum will be presented to 10 year old chil-          young man was telling a classroom of                 Do you want Planned Parenthood, or
 dren. The words “unprotected sex” (used a           young children. This announcement didn’t         groups like theirs, teaching your children
 number of times) seemed a bit deep, and             seem to bother the lady sitting next to me       about sex? If not, then you need to get
 inappropriate, for children of that age             or the librarian presenting the material.        involved. Had I been too “busy” to view the
 group. Although the message of the video            She did say later that she thought the           materials, my ten year old pre-pubescent
 made it clear that you can’t contract the           “video” might be too graphic. Duh. She           daughter would have been indoctrinated
 AIDS virus without sexual interaction, I was        had no problem with booklet that had the         into the “safe sex” viewpoint permeating our
 disturbed by the lack of the abstinence             “cute little doggies.”                           culture today.
 message. (It was mentioned briefly during
 the video presentation.) After all, state law          I asked the Librarian how many kids               Our keiki is worth too much to assume
 in Hawaii mandates abstinence education.            were in the fifth grade. She told me that        that the right things are being done in our
 What the state can’t monitor, however, is           there was about a hundred. I mentioned           schools. The word “choice” has been sto-
 how much of what is presented in the class-         that I was surprised that only three of us       len and abused. It’s time to take back what
 rooms is actually based on the abstinence           were there to view the material. Her an-         belongs to us. PARENTAL CHOICE.
                                                     swer was that there would be even less           Yours and Mine.

 (Continued from page 2)                             rehabilitation or for some hernia operations,    ods set up so that you can try and fit them
                                                     but they can get coverage for physician-         into your busy schedules:
 our legislators and the public will take note of    assisted suicide. Follow Oregon’s lead? No
 Oregon’s rather disgusting public policy in this    thanks.                                                        June 17—21, 2002
 area: While paying for physician assisted                                                                           9:00—12:00 noon
 suicide, Oregon rations health care for poor
 people through their Medicaid program, the
                                                     LEGISLATIVE TRAINING                                                  Or,
                                                                                                                    June 24—28, 2002
 Oregon Health Plan. There are some 170                                                                               7:00—9:00 p.m.
 medical services covered under the Plan yet         Attention Church Liaisons and everyone
 not funded, therefore, not available. Physi-        else who may be interested—the Hawaii Fam-       If you are interested in attending, please call
 cian-assisted suicide, however, is funded. So       ily Forum will be conducting a week -long        Eva at (808) 230-2100 to ensure that you
 in Oregon, poor people can’t get coverage for       training session at Damien Memorial High         receive the brochure for the event when it is
 some curative cancer treatments or for stroke       School this summer. We have two time peri-       completed.

Volume 2, Issue 3                                                                                                                                Page 3
270 Kuulei Road, Suite 205
Kailua, Hawaii 96734-2755

Phone: (808) 230-2100
Fax: (808) 230-2102
Email: info@hawaiifamilyforum.org

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                                                                                                                    Facing the issues that face
                                                                                                                         Hawaii’s families.

Legislative Bill Tracking Report                                                                                     Calendar of Events
Bill #            Bill Name                     Description of Bill                     Status / Action                     March 26, 2002
                                                                                                                             KUHIO DAY
HB 1687           Relating to Gambling          Creates new chapter in HRS relat-       Defeated in House Judici-      HFF Offices will be open.
                                                ing to the development of a casino      ary Committee. All quiet
                                                                                                                      State offices will be closed.
                                                gaming resort in Kapolei.               in the Senate for now.

SB 2234           Relating to Sexual            Establishes the offense of sexual       Bill was passed by the              March 29, 2002
                  Exploitation                  exploitation of a minor. Authorizes     Senate Health & Human               GOOD FRIDAY
                                                possible loss of license and property   Services committee and
                                                loss if convicted.                      the Senate Judiciary           HFF Offices will be open.
                                                                                        committee. It is now on       State offices will be closed.
                                                                                        the House side awaiting
                                                                                        hearing by the House
                                                                                        Judiciary Committee.                March 31, 2002
HB 2487           Relating to Death With        Legalizes physician-assisted sui-       Passed by the full House               EASTER
                  Dignity                       cide.                                   on 03/07/02. It has
                                                                                        crossed over to the Sen-             April 5, 2002
                                                                                        ate. Senate Health Com-
                                                                                        mittee Chair, Sen. Matsu-        SECOND DECKING
                                                                                        ura, is not planning to
                                                                                        hear the bill.

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