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State Capitol of Hawaii, Honolulu
State Capitol of Hawaii, Honolulu
Humanize From Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism

Now Hawaii Wants Non-Physician-Assisted Suicide

Originally published at National Review

Always remember that the first iteration of assisted-suicide legalization is not the last iteration. Over time — and once people get used to doctors prescribing for suicide or giving lethal jabs — the laws are loosened to make more people eligible to die, or to expand the cadre of medical professionals entitled to end patient’s lives.

Now, hot on the heels of Washington State, it’s Hawaii. A bill has been filed to allow nurse practitioners to lethally prescribe and shorten the waiting period between request to die and distribution of the poison. From SB 323:

The purpose of this Act is to amend the Our Care, Our Choice Act to:

     (1)  Authorize advanced practice registered nurses, in addition to physicians, to practice medical aid in dying in accordance with their scope of practice and prescribing authority;

     (2)  Authorize psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, in addition to psychiatrists, psychologists, and clinical social workers, to provide counseling to a qualified patient;

     (3)  Reduce the mandatory waiting period between oral requests from twenty days to fifteen days; and

     (4)  Provide an expedited pathway for those terminally ill individuals not expected to survive the mandatory waiting period.

This is always the way. When activists sell assisted suicide, they promise that strict guidelines will protect against abuse.

But once the law has passed and people get used to doctors causing death, the protections are redefined as obstacles or burdens, and the law is loosened to make more people eligible to get dead quicker.

The ultimate destination is death on demand, which has already come to Germany.

Of course, this is a one-way street. Assisted-suicide/euthanasia laws are never tightened or repealed.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.