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As Hawaiʻi’s population ages, what ought to be done at the end of life is becoming a matter of great concern to the state. To explore the options available to those with a terminal illness, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Public Policy Center and the Matsunaga Institute for Peace are sponsoring a moderated panel discussion on February 23 on the topic, End of Life: Public Policy for the Terminally Ill. The forum, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol Auditorium, includes Attorney General Douglas Chin, Charles Miller and John Radcliffe of Compassion and Choices Hawaiʻi, and Craig Nakatsuka and Joy Yadao of Hawaiʻi’s Partnership for Appropriate and Compassionate Care. The panel will be moderated by Judge Michael Broderick (retired), the president and CEO of the YMCA of Honolulu.

Advances in medicine mean that more local residents are caring for relatives in their final days and are facing difficult decisions about their illnesses and death. Furthermore, 100 million Americans have a chronic disease, and a growing number of these chronically-ill people are asking for the right to take their own lives. The intent of the forum is to identify the various positions, and in the process consider the consequences of alternative public policies for the terminally ill in an environment of tolerance and respect.

The panel discussion is free and open to the public.

The panel speakers

Michael Broderick is the former director of the judiciary’s Center for Alternative Resolution, the former administrative director of the State Courts, and a former family court judge where he presided over more than 10,000 cases.

Douglas Chin earned his law degree from the University of Hawaiʻi and was unanimously confirmed as state attorney general in 2015.

Charles Miller is a retired oncologist, board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology and is one of the founding members of the Physician Advisory Council for Aid in Dying for Compassion and Choices.

Craig Nakatsuka recently retired after 34 years of service from Kaiser Medical Group and has spent the past decade in the work of long-term care and palliative care.

John Radcliffe, stage 4 terminal cancer patient and advocate for medical aid in dying in Hawaiʻi, is co-founder and President emeritus of Capitol Consultants of Hawaiʻi and has been an active lobbyist at the state and national level for forty years.

Joy Yadao is a registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in nursing leadership and in the specialties of pediatrics, oncology, case management, end-of-life care, advanced care planning and healthcare quality.

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