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Hawaii law allowing medically assisted suicide takes effect

HONOLULU — Hawaii’s new medically assisted suicide law has gone into effect, but few doctors and pharmacies are willing to prescribe and dispense the life-ending medications.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that Hawaii Pacific Health and The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu both say their pharmacies will not fill the prescriptions and hospitalized patients will not be able to take the lethal drugs on their campuses.

The law allows doctors to fulfill requests from terminally ill patients for prescription medication that will allow them to die.

The state Department of Health projects that 40 to 70 patients will seek medical aid in dying this year.

Most health care facilities have adopted neutral policies on the law, leaving it up to individual doctors to decide whether to participate.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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