Hawaii retirement home clarifies assisted suicide rules | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Hawaii retirement home clarifies assisted suicide rules

FILE - This Nov. 1, 2018 file photo shows the Kahala Nui retirement home in Honolulu. Kahala Nui says residents in its independent living wing may take advantage of the state's new medically assisted suicide law if they wish but those in its assisted living and nursing center may not do so. Kahala Nui CEO Pat Duarte said Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018 the law allows health care facilities to determine whether they want to participate in provisions of the law. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)
November 13, 2018 - 6:57 PM

HONOLULU - A Hawaii retirement home said Tuesday residents in its independent living wing may take advantage of the state's new medically assisted suicide law if they wish.

But Kahala Nui told residents in a memorandum this week that those in its assisted living and nursing centre may not do so.

Kahala Nui CEO Pat Duarte said the new measure allows health care facilities to determine whether they want to participate in provisions of the law. Kahala Nui's health centre won't participate, he said.

A lease Kahala Nui has with the Roman Catholic Church prohibits the home from assisting, promoting or co-ordinating medically assisted suicide, he said.

The statement comes after the American Civil Liberties Union earlier this month demanded that Kahala Nui stop discriminating against non-Catholic residents and allow them to take advantage of the law if they wish.

The ACLU of Hawaii issued its demand after receiving an anonymous tip that Kahala Nui had notified its residents that they would not be permitted to exercise provisions of the law.

Joshua Wisch, the organization's executive director, said in a statement he was encouraged that Kahala Nui had informed its independent living residents that they could take advantage of the law. Other parts of the home's response require "further review and our legal staff is currently studying them," he said.

Hawaii became the sixth state to legalize medically assisted suicide in April when Gov. David Ige signed the legislation into law.

The law allows doctors to fulfil requests from terminally ill patients for prescription medication that will allow them to die. It takes effect in January.

Kahala Nui is a retirement home in the upscale Kahala neighbourhood of Honolulu. Its independent living wing has about 350 residents. Its health centre has 60 nursing beds, 22 memory support units and 41 assisted living units.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

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