Medical Aid In Dying

This legislation is a sad joke (March 29, 2018)

My brother was given six months to live with stomach cancer and wanted to take his life. We coached him through and did a lot of other “non-doctor things.

Twenty-nine years later, he is still alive. I know two other people in the same boat.

Anyone can take their life if they want to bad enough. I am so against this.

I certainly would not let a senator or governor to have to allow me to take my life (“Hawaii Legislature Passes Medical Aid In Dying”). It would be my choice. I would just do it.

What a ridiculous waste of time. Also, hospice does allow people to go out very sweet and calmly. This is such a joke.

— Ingrid Carvalho, Honolulu

Hospice is the way to go (March 30, 2018)

Thank you for your excellent reporting.

Regarding the medical aid-in-dying bill, I am saddened and disappointed to see this had passed. They can use all the flowery words to justify their position, but the truth is that the state of Hawaii now approves suicide.

We already have a compassionate way of addressing the complex issue of dying with dignity. That is through hospice programs.

For example, when it came time to face the end of my parents’ lives, we had caring nurses and doctors available to help us as a family. My parents passed away peacefully in their own homes with loved ones gathered around. We were fortunate.

However, I understand that others may not have that help. Therefore, I advocate that medical personnel, chaplains and hospice volunteers must continue to provide comfort for human beings in a loving way. Doctors have sworn to do no harm. We as a society, must stay vigilant and make sure everyone can know that they are supported and comforted by people who care.

— Steven Foster, Kamuela

A single dose of mercy (March 29, 2018)

I spent time with my mother almost every day of her long process of dying. Morning and evening I watched her suffer, as an licensed practical nurse companion monitored her during the night.

Stricken at 89 with a rare version of primary lateral sclerosis (a late complication of midlife polio), this gifted, articulate woman was unable to speak or swallow. She requested a feeding tube to absorb nutrition.

Her social life went with it. Most of our socializing involves food and speech. She was very dignified, and did not want her friends or my husband, to ever see her “like this.”

Senator Breene Harimoto shares his personal journey with cancer before the Senate floor vote, his cancer has spread to his lungs he shared.
State Sen. Breene Harimoto shared his personal journey with cancer before the Senate floor vote on medical aid in dying legislation Thursday. He voted against it. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Her brain was fully intact; as her facial mobility began to diminish, and she communicated by email, or a large magnetic slate I purchased at Walmart so she could write big, sloppy notes. This impeccable British woman with perfect language skills began to lose her syntax and grammar after six months of scrawling notes. She was miserable and wanted to die.

She wanted me to drive her out to where my Dad’s ashes were scattered and hook vacuum-cleaner extension tubing to the exhaust of her RV. She had already purchased the tubing. She wanted me to help her, and I couldn’t. I am a nurse practitioner.

So, in complete possession of her brains, she researched the internet and realized that if she stopped taking nutrition and fluids through the feeding tube, she would eventually die. She asked me how long it would take. She went to see her doctor. Eventually hospice took her on.

Alone in the bed she once shared with my father, she started the agonizing journey that devastated all of us who watched and waited with her.

Strong willed, she stopped the nutritional fluids. Just water, as she wasted away.

“It’s not fast enough,” she complained. “What if I stop the fluids?”

I told her it would be faster, though every cell in my health provider body, cringed at the process.

Because of hospice she had meds to dull the anxiety, but it interfered even more with our communication. We tended her carefully, and she eventually died.

It was horrendous for her, and horrific for us. She would have so welcomed a single dose of mercy delivered in an injection. And my last thoughts of her would not have had to be appalling, grotesque and devastating.

I remember her fire, and her joy, and her love. The right to die would have be an act of love. Our parents, our families, and we ourselves should not have to suffer this brutality.

I support the right to die.

— Virginia Beck, Lawai

Mobile Homes For Hawaii

Yep, it’s long past time (March 30, 2018)

Yes, bring them on (“It’s Long Past Time To Allow Mobile Homes In Hawaii”). Where? Municipal golf courses, schools, churches, Kunia farms (already there).

Also floating. Composting toilets. Solar. Desalinization systems. Put some by the prisons in Kailua — my neighborhood, by the way; no NIMBY here!

Also Sand Island, Waianae small boat harbor encampment, Bumpy Kanahele’s village in Waimanalo. Inside Diamond Head, Koko Head, near the various landfills and dumps around the city and state.

— K. W. Davis, Kailua

Census Question

No country for old men? (March 30, 2018)

I must respond to your editorial of March 28 stating that Trump must back off census question on citizenship (“White House Must Back Off Census Change”).

You stated that question of citizenship has not been used since 1950. I just called up census form for 2000, and right there in the long form is the citizenship question.

My memory is slipping, so I do not recall complaints or shouts to remove that question. There were no cries of threats to immigrants, unconstitutional, or political motives.

Couldn’t it be the Trump administration considered it therefore it must be anti-immigrant is cause for the disagreements, could it?

I agree with the question that to determine how many voters, you know, citizens, to determine representation and funding apportionment, stuff that used to be noncontroversial. Plus by law, information on a census form cannot be shared with other agencies. But observing the politicalization of the DOJ and the FBI, I can see why folks have no trust in government anymore.

As a “citizen,” whatever that team means anymore, I kinda thought the 14th Amendment was clear: born or naturalized in the USA. Somehow the definition of citizen has transitioned, without constitutional change, to any person residing in the USA. So why not give right to vote to persons who cares what a citizen means anymore? After all, everyone here has all rights and privileges.

So why must I prove my place of birth for a PASSPORT? Why do I need to prove my “citizenship” returning to the USA? For the census? No need to ask for citizenship, we only care how many are here.

Oh, and we care about your ethnicity, race and gender — wonder why? But not citizenship.

It’s one reason this Senior Citizen feels I am an anachronism, no longer welcome in a nation I was born in and served for 43 years. Lord, thanks for giving me my limited time left.

— Jim McDiarmid, Mililani

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