Your Views for April 4

It’s euthanasia

It’s a sad day in our state now that the physician-assisted suicide bill was passed and undoubtedly will be signed by the governor.

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Even our Big Island senator-physician, Josh Green, did not oppose the assisted suicide bill.

As a practicing physician, I find it appalling that colleagues would abdicate their roles as healers and advocates for life to be involved in ending the lives of their patients.

This issue likely will not end with having the choice of physician-assisted suicide but will become an obligation of patients to choose it. The Canadians performed a study at the University of Calgary in which they calculated that the savings to the province would be $139 million annually if patients chose physician-assisted suicide over traditional care.

The inference is that now it becomes not just a choice but an obligation based on saving money.

C. Everett Koop, the former surgeon general, predicted this trend in the late 1970s. How discerning he was to predict that the cheapening of life would lead to euthanasia and more.

Call it physician-assisted suicide if you like, but this is euthanasia. Is infanticide next? How about the disabled or those without an advocate or voice?

Our legislators don’t need to worry about this. They have status and power, but what about the poor and disenfranchised in our community?

This will never happen? Time will tell, but history doesn’t predict a good outcome.

We used to be known as the “health state.” This legislation makes that moniker a lie.

Timothy Jahraus

Hilo

Lots of trucks

So while a 21st century entrepreneur proposes growing hibiscus on Molokai to be used for biofuel, (Tribune-Herald, March 29), we on the Hamakua Coast — thanks to Hu Honua, HELCO and many lawmakers — soon will be faced with traffic from hundreds of logging trucks weekly, hauling thousands of tons to a supposedly refurbished ($250 million) Pepeekeo power plant to be burned as biofuel for power, a la 18th century technology.

Mind-boggling, in this day of huge solar power installations on Oahu and Kauai.

Hu Honua will produce, according to HELCO, unnecessary power by burning wood, using millions of gallons of water weekly for cooling that will be pumped out and then dumped back into the aquifer, possibly contaminated. Noise and air quality … promises, promises.

You might not be impacted by the plant because of its location, but if you use the island’s roads, you’ll deal with the logging trucks at least five days a week on our already-crowded and well-worn roads.

Where is Hawaii Island’s 21st century mindset?

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Bob Smith

Pepeekeo