Medical Aid In Dying

It’s An Individual’s Choice (March 1, 2018)

Our country was founded on principles that are elegantly stated in the Declaration of Independence — the rights of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Every individual can choose for themselves how to live their life to pursue happiness, as long as it is within the law.

These principles permeate House Bill 2739 (Our Care, Our Choice Act, aka Death with Dignity). This bill creates an alternative that individuals with a short time left in life may choose for ending their lives.

It’s not for everyone, but, for example, it gives an opportunity to those with constant intractable pain that cannot be effectively medicated to end their suffering. It doesn’t force anything on anyone, but simply creates an alternative.

John Radcliffe during death dying hearing on HB2739, Capitol auditorium.
John Radcliffe testifying in favor of House Bill 2739. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The bill also gives physicians a choice. Those who do not want to administer medication to carry out a patient’s request to end their life may opt out.

HB 2739 is based on successful programs in other states that give individuals the choice of ending their lives humanely when they are suffering from conditions that make life no longer worth living. Although most people won’t choose it, it’s an option that everyone should have.

—John Kawamoto, Honolulu

UH Title IX Violations

Sexual Harassment Education Needed (March 3, 2018)

Feds: UH Manoa violated rules in handling sexual harassment cases.

Said students: “but less likely to face nonconsensual contact or sexual harassment.”

I teach in middle school. Students are actually more likely to face nonconsensual contact or sexual harassment. They do not know that it is a crime. They think it’s because they are the prettiest that the boys give them so much attention, so they do not see it as unwanted or illegal.

There is education on sexual harassment in the schools, but it is that getting through that belief system that “I’m the prettiest.”

—Deborah Coleman, Makawao

Still More On Killing Comments

Expression Of Ideas Essential (March 1, 2018)

Sorry to read that CB terminated comments. It is surprising the decision makers have such thin skin.

The reporters probably like the comments and accompanying give and take. The comments are probably also a valuable source for other articles. The expression of ideas, even distasteful ones, is the essence of a democracy and, I assume, journalism.

It seems somewhat disingenuous to justify censoring the comments because of perceived agendas espoused by the writers. Those writers are simply expressing their point of view. Also, the fact that it is the same people who write the comments, supposedly day after day, does not diminish the content of the ideas. It may be that others do not write comments because they agree with some or all of what the comment-writers say and they don’t want to be redundant or simply are just not inclined to write.

The anonymity of the comments allowed candidness. Readers were free to ignore, reject or reply to comments that were based on hate, race, discrimination, etc. Perhaps the comments provided a good idea of what the larger community thought about the issue under discussion. CB’s decision is a step backwards.

—Chris McKenzie, Honolulu

Just Block The Trolls (March 1, 2018)

I agree in general with the characterization of the comments section recently done away with but disagree with CB’s decision to end comments with this as the reason or excuse.

It seems that The New York Times, with a much, much larger readership. is managing to maintain their reader’s comments section and keep it mostly civil.

Maybe doing more to encourage wider use among readers and to warn (and) then block the trolls would have been a more appropriate response.

—Simon Tetlow, Waialua

Comments Equal Vitriol (March 2, 2018)

Comments sections (are the) worst thing to ever happen to periodicals.

There is so much political hate in America. The Democrats blame the Republicans, the Republicans blame the Democrats, in Hawaii the locals blame the “haoles” and the national news media likes to blame Trump. 

How can the U.S. ever expect peace with North Korea or other dictatorships when most of us are in constant battles with “friends” on social media?

The worst thing that ever happened in my opinion were newspapers and other periodicals implementing comment sections. Comment sections have become the vitriol of most publications. There  is very little praise, if any, and a lot of hate criticisms and major contempt.

Writers now need to have thick skin because everything they write is under a microscope and is critiqued by anyone who has access to a smartphone, iPad or computer.

Social media has made things worse. Many people will misinterpret what you say, or you might say something you didn’t mean and before you know it goes viral and you’re answering to Dr. Phil. How I long for the old days when a writer could write without every Tom, Dick and Harry throwing their opinions at you, like monkeys at the zoo throwing feces at each other.

—James “Kimo” Rosen, Kapaa

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