The Hawai‘i Senate today voted 23-2 to pass House Bill 2739 titled “Our Care, Our Choice” Act which allows a mentally capable, terminally ill adult with six months or less to live, the freedom to make their own end-of-life decisions.
There was broad support for HB2739 within the Senate, which had advanced Senate Bill 1129 during the 2017 Legislative Session. SB1129, which had similar safeguards as the House bill, was deferred by a House committee and was never put to a House floor vote last session.
On the floor, Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi thanked Senator Karl Rhoads for researching and crafting SB1129. He also acknowledged Senator Rosalyn Baker, Chair of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health and Senator Gil Keith-Agaran, then-Chair of the Committee on Judiciary, and their staff for the efforts made last year to “put forward a public document that we could debate and discuss in order to get to the bill that we would be comfortable upon voting. All of those efforts have helped us get to a better place with the bill being voted on today.”
Senate President Kouchi also acknowledged the public for being “engaged with the Senate every step of the way on this issue.”
The bill is now transmitted to the House for their review and is expected to be enrolled to the Governor for his consideration.