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“Don’t tell me that the people who are here legally on visas do not know when their visas will expire. When it expires, go home and reapply. How hard is that?”—AN ONLINE READER
For the whole discussion, check out our April 2009 story, “Undocumented: The State of Illegal Immigration in Hawaii.”
Debate on Physician-Assisted Suicide
Our April Scrapyard column discussed pros and cons of laws that allow terminally ill, competent adults to get a lethal dose of medication from their doctor.
It is not suicide, it is a dying person and his physician deciding when enough is too much. Physicians make life and death choices with great frequency. To disallow a person to decide when suffering is too great, or just not the way to spend his last days, is to deprive him of his liberty and the help of the best qualified person to assist in his passing.
HMA’s opening statement has two weasel clauses to preserve the fairytale vision of doctors. First, calling inclusion of any physician’s role as an of end-of-life assistant “fundamentally inconsistent to a doctor’s role as healer” ignores the inevitability that everyone at some point won’t be able to be healed. Everyone will die one day. At that point, doctoring becomes impossible.
Second, “striving to alleviate” pain and suffering are not the same as alleviating pain and suffering. Have you seen a dying loved one linger in agony? Give people at the end of their course choice, help and dignity. Don’t worry, the law handles the liability issues and I have much more faith in and respect for physician’s core ethics and decision-making abilities when their patients’ times have come and they express their desire to stop the tortures of terminal diseases.
—EVAN TECTOR, HONOLULU
Obama’s Home State
A. Kam Napier’s March 2009 Editor’s Page, “Selecting the Best,” about President Barack Obama garnered lots of feedback from readers.
You state that “Obama had to leave us for what he is today. We seem all too eager to attribute every virtue Obama possesses to his Island upbringing.” What Hawaii gave the president is what Hawaii gave to me and that is the Aloha Spirit! I was raised in Honolulu and that spirit has never left me. I still consider Hawaii home and I am of the opinion that Obama does, too. That’s why he has to have shave ice. You can take Obama out of Hawaii, but you can’t take Hawaii out of him.
—VIRGINIA MELVILLE COWART, DANVILLE, CALIF.
Ahana koko lele
In our April story “New to Do in Kailua,” Ecstatic Dance Hawaii’s hours were listed incorrectly. Classes are held Sundays, 7 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Priory Dance Studio; Sundays 11:15 a.m., at the Kailua Movement Studio; and Fridays, 7:15 p.m. at Kapiolani Community College. For more information, call 282-5151 or visit www.ecstaticdancehawaii.com.
In our April issue in “Keeping the Fight Alive,” the one-for-one needle exchange was originally started by Life Foundation, but the CHOW Project (Community Health Outreach Work to Prevent AIDS) currently provides the service.