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Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health Committee Advances Hawai‘i Death with Dignity Act

(HONOLULU – February 15, 2017) Compassion & Choices Hawai‘i today praised the Senate’s Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health Committee for its vote (six ayes one excused) to pass medical aid-in-dying legislation (SB 1129) out of committee following a public hearing on the bill.

Supporters crowded the room at the state Capitol to urge lawmakers to pass the Hawai‘i Death with Dignity Act, introduced by Senators Karl Rhoads, Lorraine Inouye, Michelle Kidani and Russell Ruderman. SB 1129 now faces a floor vote and then moves to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“We are pleased to see that the Hawai‘i Death with Dignity Act has passed the first Committee hearing. There are more hurdles to come, but we are encouraged by the supermajority vote in favor of Senate Bill 1129 and look forward to more discussion,” said Mary Steiner, campaign manager, C&C Hawai‘i. “I want to say ‘Mahalo nui loa’ to everyone who provided testimony, especially those living with advanced illness and fighting for their right to consider this option. We are proud of our diverse coalition of individuals, doctors and  organizations that came out in strong support of Senate Bill 1129, just like the people of Hawai‘i, who want the right to aid in dying.”

The people of Hawai‘i have been striving for a medical aid-in-dying option for more than 20 years, and C&C Hawai‘i has built a larger-than-ever base of grassroots support. A recent poll shows 80 percent of Hawai‘i voters want a medical aid-in-dying law, and the issue has been gaining a groundswell of support among medical and interfaith groups, including from the Hawai‘i Medical Association, which switched its long-standing opposition to medical aid in dying and recently adopted a neutral stance.