Hawaii Voters Express Overwhelming Support for Medical Aid in Dying Option
Eighty percent of Hawaii voters believe a medical aid in dying option (also known as “death with dignity”) should be available, giving a terminally ill person who is mentally capable the right to request and receive a prescription for life-ending medication, a poll released today by Compassion & Choices Hawaii reveals.
“We know that kamaaina overwhelmingly support aid in dying because we hear from them every day,” said Mary Steiner, Compassion & Choices Hawaii campaign manager. “Terminally ill adults want and deserve access to the full spectrum of end of life options to make a peaceful death possible.”
The poll, conducted by Anthology Research for Compassion & Choices Hawaii, shows 80 percent of Hawaii voters across all demographics believe a medical aid in dying option should be legal in Hawaii. Strong support (55%) outweighs strong opposition (8%) by an almost seven-to-one margin, while only 12% oppose the option.
For the survey, Anthology completed 603 interviews with registered Hawaii voters in the form of a mixed-mode internet/telephone consumer survey between November 10 and November 28, 2016. This is the third such survey conducted on the topic by Anthology for Compassion & Choices Hawaii since 2004; tracking shows consistent, and consistently growing, support for aid in dying.
Other findings of the study show the vast majority of voters agreed with statements in support of medical aid in dying. For example, 94 percent of voters agree that the decision of a terminally ill person to request medication to bring about his or her death is a personal decision between the person, their family and their doctor; it is an individual decision and not a government decision.
“Hawaii is clearly ready for a law that allows the medical practice of aid in dying,” said Steiner. “Too many kamaaina are suffering needlessly. Too many local families are watching their loved ones endure relentless pain and loss of autonomy from the illnesses that will end their lives, and that no medication can treat. All kamaaina deserve the peace of mind that comes from just knowing they have this choice, to die peacefully with a full range of end of life options available to them.”
Aid in dying is a legally permitted end-of-life medical care option for terminally ill persons in Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont, California and Colorado.