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- PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED 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. HOUSE VOTES ON PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE ¦ 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 KELLY RESPONDS [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. OTHER NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS (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: email@example.com : the web at Visit us on ilyfo rum.org .hawaiifam http://www 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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