Hawaii Newspaper Wants State to Become Third to Legalize Assisted Suicide

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 13, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Hawaii Newspaper Wants State to Become Third to Legalize Assisted Suicide

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 13
, 2008

Honolulu, HI (LifeNews.com) — Now that Washington voters made it the second state to legalize assisted suicide, the Honolulu Star Bulletin wants Hawaii to be the third. The island state’s legislature has narrowly defeated previous attempts to legalize assisted suicide but the paper wants it to try again.

"Hawaii has come close to doing the same since a gubernatorial panel recommended it 10 years ago and should give serious consideration to the issue in the coming legislative session," the newspaper writes.

A state House committee defeated the assisted suicide bill last in February 2007, which would have allowed physicians to administer a lethal drug to terminally ill patients.

Prior to that, in 2002, the House approved an assisted suicide law but the Senate defeated it by three votes.

The Star-Bulletin editorial claims promoting assisted suicide saves lives and quotes Timothy Quill, described as an "expert on end of life issues" who claims people kill themselves in higher numbers without doctors than with one.

But Wesley J. Smith, a bioethics watchdog who has written on the topic of euthanasia, says the newspaper is "[buying] into the ridiculous notion that legalizing assisted suicide saves lives."

"Unmentioned in his identification is the highly relevant fact that Quill is an adamant assisted suicide advocate who came to fame in 1991 by writing about how he assisted the suicide of ‘Diane,’ one of his cancer patients," Smith says.

The newspaper holds up the Oregon first-in-the-nation assisted suicide law as a model because it supposedly contains safeguards.

But Smith says the newspaper ignores "all the abuses that have come to light in Oregon."

Those include a woman who was told she couldn’t get medicine paid for but would receive funds for an assisted suicide and a study showing one-fourth of the assisted suicide victims in Oregon are depressed and didn’t get treatment, among other issues.

"But that is the typical media approach these days: Act as Pravda for issues and candidates they like and withhold important information from readers/viewers that could reflect badly on the pet causes/candidates," he explains.

"They often succeed in obtaining what they want by turning journalism into propaganda. But media are dying on the vine and this is one of the reasons," he concludes.

During the hearing on the bill last year, pro-life groups were joined in opposition to the bill by Lt. Gov. James Aiona, John McDonnell of the Hawaii Medical Association, and disability rights advocates.

ACTION: Contact the Star Bulletin newspaper with your opposition to an assisted suicide bill. Contact editor Frank Bridgewater at (808) 529-4791 or [email protected] to oppose the pro-suicide editorial. And you can send a letter to the editor by going to https://www.starbulletin.com/about/lettertotheeditor.html

Related web sites:
Hawaii Right to Life – https://www.hrtl.org
Hawaii State Legislature – https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov

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