Voters will decide in November whether they want to terminally ill adults to have the option of shortening their lives.
The Colorado Secretary of State has certified that the The Yes on Colorado End-of-Life Options campaign submitted enough signatures for the measure to appear on the November ballot.
A campaign news release states:
“Today we are one step closer to ensuring that Coloradans have control over all of their health care decisions when facing terminal illness,” said Julie Selsberg, co-petitioner of the measure. “End of life decisions are very intimate and personal. This proposal encourages more discussion between patients and doctors about the patient’s end of life wishes and allows doctors who wish to provide this very compassionate care the ability to do so. “
Selsberg was at her father’s side as he slowly died from Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and helped him write an open letter to Colorado lawmakers asking them to authorize medical aid in dying.
Colorado would become the 6th state to authorize medical aid in dying. Research shows that an overwhelming majority of Coloradans believes there should be medical options for those who want it.
The measure is opposed by the Colorado Catholic Conference, according to the Huffington Post:
The Colorado Catholic Conference, the lobbying arm of the state’s bishops, called the ballot question “flawed logic” because the government would be in a position to promote suicide for some people, while trying to prevent it in others.
The measure specifies the category of people for whom doctors could prescribe aid-in-dying medication.
- Must be over 18
- Must be in the final stages of a terminal illness, as confirmed by a second opinion
- Must be of sound mind (people with dementia or Alzheimer’s are ineligible)
- Must take the medicine by themselves (self-administer)
- Must make two oral requests separated by a 15-day waiting period. A third written request, signed by at least two witnesses, is also required.