Hawaii law allowing assisted suicide takes effect

Hawaii law allowing assisted suicide takes effect

Hawaii’s new medically assisted suicide law has gone into effect, but few doctors and pharmacies are willing to prescribe and dispense the life-ending medications.

Hawaii Pacific Health and The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu said their pharmacies will not fill the prescriptions and hospitalized patients will not be able to take the lethal drugs on their campuses, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reportedTuesday.

The law allows doctors to fulfill requests from terminally ill patients for prescription medication that will allow them to die…

Most health care facilities have adopted neutral policies on the law, leaving it up to individual doctors to decide whether to participate.

“There are a number of health care providers, nurses and others who are really uncomfortable about this, so asking anybody to participate as a patient ends their life is a really tough thing,” said Melinda Ashton, chief quality officer for Hawaii Pacific Health, one of the state’s largest health care providers. “The most recent barrier does seem to be we haven’t yet located a pharmacy willing to provide the medication.”

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