The people in Hawaii took action last week and succeeded in getting an assisted-suicide bill deferred in a House committee. Thousands of people called or emailed their legislators urging them to oppose any bill that would allow a doctor to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs to a terminally ill patient.

Eva Andrade, president of Hawaii Family Forum, said deferring the bill showed sound moral reasoning by lawmakers.

“In the recent hearing on the issue, led by Rep. Della Au Belatti, House Health Committee Chair,” Andrade said, “we saw the committee members raise serious concerns about ‘medical aid in dying,’ challenging those representing both sides of the issue. They asked difficult, but necessary questions. There were many unanswered or unsettling responses by proponents.”

Compassion and Choices, a pro-assisted-suicide group, is now working to get the bill out of committee to force a vote on the House floor.

Andrade said assisted suicide puts many people at risk of abuse, including the elderly, the mentally ill and those with disabilities.

“We know that the people of Hawai’i are ready and willing to unite to teach our keiki (children) that suicide is a never a solution,” she added, “and that our kupuna (elders) should be protected from potential abandonment, coercion and abuse. Caring for people at the end of their lives is true ‘aloha’ and that’s worth fighting for!”