News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Hawaii Legalizes Physician-Assisted Suicide

image of caduceus symbolThe state of Hawaii recently legalized physician-assisted suicide.  The “Our Choice, Our Care Act” will “give patients the ability to choose their own medical care at the end of life and at the same time, ensure robust safeguards are in place to prevent any possible abuse.”  A mentally competent adult resident patient, determined to be suffering from a terminal disease and who has voluntarily expressed a wish to die, may make an informed request for “a prescription that may be self-administered for the purpose of ending the adult’s life.”  At all times, the patient “shall retain the right to rescind the request for medication and be under no obligation to fill the prescription or use the medication.”  For additional legislative history information on this act, see the HB2739 HD1 page.

Veterans Services at CSU and Beyond

Cleveland State has its own Veterans Student Success Program with offices located at 2254 Euclid Avenue, Trinity Commons, Cleveland OH 44115.  The can also be reached by phone at 216-875-9996 or email at

Veterans Services at CSU –one stop shopping with links to all services available for vets at CSU.

Veterans Benefits and Financial Aid –GI Bill information, financial aid and scholarships.

Counseling and other Mental Health Services:

Cleveland State Counseling Center – Academic, career, and personal counseling.  To find out more about the services offered by the Counseling Center please stop by (UN 220) or call them at 216-687-2277.  You may also stop by or call to set up a phone screening with a counselor.  The phone screening is designed to help determine what services are best for you.  At the end of the screening, the therapist will offer you a list of options tailored to your needs.  Common options include individual counseling at the counseling center, referral to counseling in the community, group counseling, workshops, and/or referrals to CSU and non-CSU resources.  Walk-in sessions are available from 1pm-3pm Monday through Friday.

Cleveland Veterans Administration Services—outpatient counseling available.  Contact the local VA for help on getting access to medical care for vets.

Online Access to State Legal Information

map of 50 US statesFollowing up on last week’s post about Sunshine Week, which focuses on freedom of information and government transparency, it is also important to highlight public access to state law. The Digital Access to Legal Information Committee of the American Association of Law Libraries maintains detailed tables of State Online Legal Information. The tables provide information about free online access to the essentials of state law: court opinions, session laws and statutes, and administrative registers and codes. For researchers relying on this access, it is important for them to know whether the online versions of these legal materials are official, authenticated, have guaranteed continued availability, and will be preserved. Each state, including the District of Columbia, has its own table. Check out Ohio.

DHHS Cuts In-Person Advisory Committee Meetings

DHHS LogoThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has cut back on in-person meetings of Advisory Committees under the purview of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH).  “To promote cost-effectiveness and efficiencies,” Advisory Committees are “to ensure that at least half of their committee meetings and all of their subcommittee meetings [are] conducted virtually.”  In-person Advisory Committee meetings are open to the public, and time is allotted for public comment.  Virtual meetings will mean Advisory Committee deliberations will not be public, and likely make robust discussion more difficult.  This change comes at an important time.  The Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP) is currently working on implementation of significant revisions to regulations concerning human research subjects – the Common Rule (45 C.F.R. 46).  SACHRP met in-person March 13-14, 2018, but is currently required to meet virtually on July 10, 2018 and Ocotber 16, 2018.

Sunshine Week 2018: Examining Open Government

March 11-17 2018 is Sunshine Week, the annual nationwide celebration highlighting the importance of freedom of information and government transparency. Sunshine Week has been recognized annually since 2005 by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. These organizations are joined by news media, government officials, academic institutions, libraries, and all people interested in open government. The broad goals are to empower the public to get involved in all levels of government, to boost public access to government information, and to use that access and information to strengthen communities and individuals.

Sunshine Week is a good time to check on our government officials’ efforts at supporting governmental transparency. According to AP News, the current administration has set a new record for censoring and withholding government information more often than at any other time over the last decade. The Associated Press analyzed data on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) compliance, covering eight months under the current President. The analysis revealed that the federal government provided censored files or nothing at all in 78% of the 823,222 requests made during that time, and the government spent a record $40.6 million defending those decisions to censor and withhold.

For information on Ohio’s Sunshine Laws see:

Ohio Open Government Laws 

Ohio Attorney General: “Ohio Sunshine Laws: An Open Government Resource Manual” (Yellow Book 2018) 

Ohio Coalition for Open Government