On February 12, HB 2451 passed out of the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce (8 – 3 vote) and House Judiciary Committee (12 – 0 vote). Unfortunately, the legislators voted to remove the provision that would allow the attending provider to waive the mandatory minimum waiting period if the patient was unlikely to survive. The other two provisions remain intact: to allow Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to act as primary or consulting provider and to reduce the waiting period between requests from 20 days to 15 days. HB 2451 will next be heard in the House Finance Committee.
Its mirror bill in the Senate, SB 2582, was heard in the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Products, and Health on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, and voted in favor of SB 2582 on Friday, February 7.
The Hawai‘i House of Representatives Committee on Health heard testimony on HB 2451 on January 31, 2020. Compassion & Choices supporters attended and submitted written testimony in favor of the legislation. The Committee voted 5-1 in favor of the bill.
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On January 6, 2020, the Hawai‘i Department of Health recommended that the legislature amend the Our Care, Our Choice Act to allow Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to act as the attending provider and allow the 20-day waiting period to be waived if the attending and consulting provider agree that a qualified patient will not survive the waiting period to help eligible patients access the law.
SB 2582 and mirror bill HB 2451 were introduced on January 20, 2020 to amend the Our Care, Our Choice Act to allow APRNs to act as the attending provider; reduce the waiting period from 20 days to 15 days; allow the waiting period to be waived if a qualified patient will not survive it.
The Department of Health also released data on the 1st year of the Our Care, Our Choice Act: 12 unique physicians wrote 27 prescriptions and 14 of those with prescriptions used the compassionate option of medical aid in dying.
In January 2020 alone, Compassion & Choices participated in multiple events with volunteers and supporters, including a successful panel discussion on the one year anniversary of the Our Care, Our Choice Act’s implementation.
Hawaii’s Our Care, Our Choice Act went into effect on January 1, 2019. The Act authorizes medical aid in dying in the state, after nearly 20 years of on-the-ground organizing by supporters and Compassion & Choices. Governor David Ige signed the law on April 5, 2018.
Thank you to all who worked so hard to see the Our Care, Our Choice Act become reality.