Monday, February 07, 2011


Star-Advertiser shows bias on Death with Dignity bill

by Larry Geller

The Star-Advertiser has taken an opposing and biased position in reporting on SB803, the bill titled Death with Dignity. They are tweeting and writing about “physician assisted suicide” although the bill specifically includes language that it is not suicide. One can argue about this, granted, but let’s have fair coverage.

The bill comes up for a hearing today at 2:45 p.m. in the auditorium at the State Capitol.

Although the newspaper may not want you to know it, the bill has wide support (as well as opposition).  Here is a snip from a news release from the Hawaii Death With Dignity Society received today:

The Hawai`i Death With Dignity Society is pleased to announce that the 50,000-member Democratic Party of Hawai`i (DPH) has made the Death With Dignity legislation now before the State Legislature a "priority" issue. Scott Foster, Communications Director for the Hawai`i Death With Dignity Society said, "DPH Chair Dante Carpenter has informed us that because the Party's resolution supporting Death With Dignity had received such overwhelming support, including a standing ovation when it passed the May, 2010, State Convention, Senate Bill 803 is deemed 'a priority issue'." 

The DPH joins other significant political organizations who have officially weighed in to support the legislation including: Americans For Democratic Action, Hawai`i Advocates For Consumer Rights, Hawai`i Friends of Civil Rights, Hawai`i Independent Democrats, the Hawai'i Women's Political Caucus, and the Kokua Council of Seniors, the state's oldest organization of seniors.

Legislators also bring their own beliefs and bias to the table on controversial issues such as this. It would be good to see more responsible reporting in the public interest.

(Disclosure: I am president of Kokua Council, one of the organizations supporting this bill).

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