STAND. COM. REP. NO. 391

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

                  

 

RE:    S.B. No. 982

 

 

 

Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2015

State of Hawaii

 

Madam:

 

     Your Committees on Health and Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 982 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO MEDICAL AMNESTY,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

     The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish limited immunity for individuals who seek medical assistance for themselves or others experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose or other medical emergency.

 

     Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Substance Abuse Coalition, Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii, Medical Amnesty Initiative, and five individuals.

 

     Your Committees find that Good Samaritan policies, also known as medical amnesty, are life-saving measures that are in the best interest of the public's health, safety, and welfare.  These policies facilitate responsible decision-making by shielding individuals from punishment when they seek medical attention during an emergency involving alcohol and controlled substances.

 

     Your Committees further find that if criminal punishment is intended to deter drug abuse, it clearly is too late to deter abuse when a person is already suffering from an overdose.  Good Samaritan policies should not be perceived as a "get out of jail free card" or a reward for illegal drug use.  Rather, they enable individuals to make potentially life-saving decisions promptly and without hesitation.

 

     As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Health and Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 982 and recommend that it pass Second Reading and be referred to the Committee on Judiciary and Labor.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Health and Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs,

 

____________________________

WILL ESPERO, Chair

 

____________________________

JOSH GREEN, Chair