Aid In Dying

Montana is not immune (May 7, 2018)

Only six states and the District of Columbia have laws to provide immunity to all involved including predatory corporations and others. (“Pod Squad: What’s Next For Medical Aid In Dying?”)

Correction please: Thankfully like 44 other states, no one in Montana has immunity from prosecution for assisting a suicide, no doctor, nurse, caregiver or guardian.

The promoters of assisted suicide have done you a disservice. The promoters of assisted suicide have worn out their thesaurus attempting to imply that it is legal in Montana. Assisted suicide is a homicide in Montana. Our Montana Supreme Court did rule that if a doctor is charged with a homicide they might have a potential defense based on consent. The court acknowledged it is a homicide in the ruling.

Gov. David Ige signed medical aid in dying legislation into law on April 5, 2018. Ige Administration/2018

The court did not address civil liabilities and vacated the lower court’s claim that it was a constitutional right. Unlike Oregon, no one in Montana has immunity from civil or criminal prosecution, death certificates are not legally falsified and investigations are not prohibited like in Hawaii, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and California. Does that sound legal to you?

Perhaps the promoters are frustrated that even though they were the largest lobbying spender in Montana, their Oregon model legalizing assisted suicide bills have been rejected in Montana in 2011, 2013 and 2015. The predatory corporation withdrew from their bullying legislative position in 2017. They simply did not try a fourth time and we celebrate saving lives every day in Montana.

What else have they spoke out of the side of their mouth?

— Bradley Williams, President, Montanas Against Assisted Suicide, Hamilton, Montana

Lava In Puna

Geography lesson needed (May 5, 2018)

I appreciate Civil Beat. But to describe Puna as a “rural district of forests, papaya farms and lava fields” makes me question whether any of you have ever been here.

I do see, however, that contributors included Anchorage and Phoenix which, though not an excuse, provides something of an explanation. (“Big Island’s Trifecta Of Trouble: Earthquakes, Lava Flows And Toxic Gas”)

— Charles M. Heaukulani, Hilo

Homeless Count

Research on Hawaiians needed (May 7, 2018)

Mahalo for Natanya Friedheim’s interesting story on “Hawaii Homeless Numbers Drop By 10 percent.”

I have been concerned with the “homeless” issue (and particularly the “homeless Native Hawaiian families” issues) for the past 50 years and more. I’ve written a number of letters on the subject.

Regarding your “down 10 percent” story, Natanya, I respectfully say I think it may imply a false impression that the “homeless” issue/concern in Hawaii is declining. It’s not!

I greatly appreciate Civil Beat for thorough and objective reporting of serious matters of community concern. Re your story, there are more serious issues/possible solutions to address.

So, I sincerely hope that you’ll follow through with some additional research and address the important issues that I have raised on this subject over many years. Most “homeless” are Native Hawaiians!

And so, if the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Kamehameha Schools and other entities each dedicated to the Hawaiian community would simply come together, the number of homeless in Hawaii could be reduced by way over half!

— John Michael White, Honolulu

Convention Clarification

A Koch brothers ‘political organ’ (May 7, 2018)

This is to set the record straight on the letter regarding the Convention of States Project (“Letters: Rachel Wong Was Brave To Speak Out”).

The Convention of States Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of 3.3 million supporters across all 50 states. The Koch brothers are not donors. There is no “dark money.” Instead, over 80,000 contributors, most giving under $5,000 annually, provide the support for this organization driven by We the People.

The COS Project is run by the Citizens for Self-Governance, a Koch brothers political organ. 

— Ken Ross, CPA, Atlanta, GA (but formerly living at Pearl Harbor)

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