Last month, the Hawai‘i Legislature passed a bill that gives terminally ill patients the option of taking prescription medication that will cause them to pass away peacefully in their sleep. On April 5, Gov. David Ige signed House Bill 2739, the “Our Choice, Our Care Act,” signed into law. It will take effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

Despite its almost unanimous passage, the law remains a controversial topic in many states. Taking one’s own life has been historically illegal under English Common Law. In many states, the act of suicide is considered a felony.

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