Hawai‘i Care Choices' Policy on Hawai‘i's Medical Aid in Dying Law (“Our Care, Our Choice Act”)


Our Care, Our Choice Act - Signed into law by Gov. Ige

Hawai'i Care Choices (formerly Hospice of Hilo) has served the East Hawai‘i community since 1983. Our specific purpose is to provide hospice and palliative care services that maximize dignity and comfort for those who are in their last months, weeks and days of life due to a progressive, incurable condition.

Our fundamental values include a deep respect for each individual's beliefs and opinions. We work compassionately toward meeting their needs as they define them.


Hawai‘i now has a medical aid in dying law, named the “Our Care, Our Choice Act” (“Act”). This Act allows individuals in defined circumstances the option to hasten their own deaths. In Hawai'i patients who qualify under the Act are eligible for, or are already receiving, the hospice services Hawai'i Care Choices provides. Hawai'i Care Choices will continue to provide the respectful, compassionate care that we have always given.


The care we provide is not a statement that we agree or disagree with this Act or with an individual’s opinion or choice. The role of hospice is to provide comfort and dignity, not to accelerate death. Because this Act falls outside the purpose of our organization, Hawai'i Care Choices' employees and volunteers, within their role with Hawai'i Care Choices, may not facilitate a Hawai'i Care Choices' patient taking actions under this law. 


This means:

  • Not assisting the patient to complete the required oral or written request;

  • Not picking up, transporting, or handling medicine intended to end life; and

  • Not assisting the patient with mixing, holding, or taking the medication;

  • We will provide information, when asked, about this topic to inform or direct the individual toward publicly available resources;

  • We will continue to provide hospice services to the individual regardless of their actions under this law;

  • We will continue to provide emotional and bereavement support services to the patient and their ‘ohana regardless of their choice.


It is our intention that individuals will neither seek nor avoid seeking services from Hawai'i Care Choices based upon this law. We will provide our services to all who need them, just as we always have.



References: 

State of Hawai‘i. Our Care Our Choice Act. H.B. No. 2739 H.D. 1. Found at: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2018/bills/HB2739_HD1_.pdf

Kōkua Mau. Our Care Our Choice Act in Hawaii. Found at: https://kokuamau.org/our-care-our-choice-act-in-hawaii/

State of Hawai‘i. Department of Health Office of Planning Policy and Program Development. Our Care, Our Choice Act (End of Life Care Option). Found at: http://health.hawaii.gov/opppd/ococ/

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