Colorado has a right-to-die measure on the ballot Election Day that needs your attention. We encourage you to support Colorado Proposition 106, which would allow terminally ill patients with less than six months to live to take doctor-prescribed medication to voluntarily end their lives.
The right-to-die measure requires that a terminally ill patient making the choice to end his or her life must be at least 18 years old, determined mentally capable of making the decision by two physicians and able to articulate an informed decision. To receive the medication, the patient would need to submit one written request, witnessed by at least two other people, and two oral requests. The new measure would then allow a physician to prescribe the medication to a patient under certain conditions. It would also criminalize coercing a terminally ill patient to request the drug.
If passed, Colorado will join five other states â€” Oregon, California, Montana, Vermont and Washington â€” in legislating a death-with-dignity act.
"Unfortunately, there is sometimes a point at which the human body no longer has the capability to successfully heal, and it is inevitable that death will come soon," wrote board-certified clinical psychologist Andrea Maikovich-Fong of Yes on Colorado End-of-Life Options. "At this point, suffering is no longer a sacrifice bravely made toward the end goal of ultimate survival, but for some it becomes simply a painful state that precedes an inevitable, close death."
Opposition to the ballot measure stems primarily from Christian organizations attempting to bend Colorado's medical policy to fit their theological interpretations of what is moral and ethical. The most vocal opposition to Proposition 106 has come from Roman Catholic religious organizations, such as the Archdiocese of Denver, the Archdiocese of Colorado Springs and the Colorado Catholic Conference. Other Christian organizations have opposed the measure as well. Catholic organizations have also been the primary fundraisers for No Assisted Suicide Colorado, an anti-106 group that has raised more than $2 million to campaign against the proposed measure.
Sadly, there are specific medical circumstances in which a person's death by an illness becomes inevitable and living becomes synonymous with suffering. Rejection of Proposition 106 based on religious views would strip citizens suffering from terminal disease of their right to make a decision based on their own beliefs, values and experiences.
On Nov. 8, tell religious institutions to stay out of Colorado's medical law. Vote yes on the right-to-die measure and give terminally ill individuals the right to choose when and how to end their lives.