Aid in dying movement files suit to push for change to Hawaii law

Updated: Jan. 12, 2017 at 2:11 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A group advocating for the passage of medical "aid in dying" bill is also turning to the courts to see that Hawaii law allows terminally ill patients to end their own lives.

The group, Compassion and Choices Hawaii, along with terminally ill cancer patient John Radcliffe and his doctor have filed a lawsuit against the state and the city prosecutor on the issue.

The lawsuit hopes to have the court clarify that medical aid in dying, also known as physician-assisted suicide, is not a crime under Hawaii law.

The suit also seeks to prohibit the prosecution of physicians who provide the option to their terminally ill patients.

Radcliffe called the lawsuit a "safety valve."

"It's more important the Legislature acts," he said. "This is good legislation. And the kind of legislation that Hawaii is known for. We're the humanistic guys. We're the ones that are good to people. We have aloha. We live right. And we die right."

Compassion and Choices has conducted a survey that showed that 80 percent of registered voters support have a medical aid in dying option for terminally ill patients.

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.