Senate panel fails to advance Death With Dignity bill - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Senate panel fails to advance Death With Dignity bill

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After listening to hours of testimony, state lawmakers decided to hold a bill that would legalize physician-assisted suicide. The vote by members of the Senate Health Committee essentially kills Senate Bill 803 relating to death with dignity. The proposed legislation would allow a terminally ill, competent adults to receive a lethal dose of medication. More than 150 people signed up to testify. The testimony was overwhelmingly against the bill, but emotions ran high on both sides.

"This bill is very scary because I think that over the course of my employment, I have also witnessed many people with terminal illness and they have outlived the six months to a year the doctors had given them," Raelene Souza, an employee at Hawaii Centers for Independent Living.

"I'm in support of this bill because I am 75 years old, and it is nobody's business whether I choose to live or die. It is my life. It is not theirs, it is not some religion's, it is my life," said Marcia Linville, a supporter of the bill.

Similar proposals have been introduced in the House. The Senate bill was based on Oregon's Death With Dignity law.

Copyright Hawaii News Now 2011. All rights reserved.

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