A proposal to legalize medically assisted death for terminally ill patients is primed for what is expected to be a final vote Thursday morning.
The full Senate is scheduled to vote on House Bill 2739, known as the Our Care, Our Choice Act, at 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
The bill would allow mentally competent residents who are at least 18 years old and have been given six months or less to live to request prescriptions for lethal doses of medication to be self-administered.
The proposal has broad support in the Senate, where last legislative session, a similar measure cleared that chamber with just three no votes. It was tabled by a House committee and never put to a House floor vote last session.
This year the House drafted legislation, approved it by a 39-12 vote last month and sent it over to the Senate. Two Senate committees signed off on the bill and did not make any amendments, eliminating the need for the House and Senate to negotiate any changes.
If approved, it would head to Gov. David Ige, who has said he supports the measure and would be “proud and honored” to sign it into law. The bill would take effect Jan. 1.
A recent poll commissioned by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser found support for medical aid in dying is high among Hawaii voters.
The poll by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy of Washington, D.C., asked 800 randomly selected voters whether they think legislation allowing medically assisted death should be approved by the state Legislature.
Overall, 71 percent of poll participants said medical aid in dying should be approved while 19 percent said it should not be allowed. Ten percent were unsure.