Assisted-dying law to be put to vote in Colorado

Colorado voters will soon have an opportunity to weigh in on a state assisted-dying initiative.

Proposition 106 proposes giving mentally capable adults the option to end their lives via a prescription drug.

A news story on the issue provides compelling reasons for putting the practice in place giving a human reality to the impetus behind the vote.

In one case a 38 year old man with brain cancer wants the option to end his life if it becomes untreatable.  Dr David Grube, a national medical director for the group Compassion & Choices, told of a patient of his in similar circumstances who used a shotgun to end his life in 1994.

Grube vowed to change that saying, “If I can ever prevent such a violent and tragic end to a person’s life, I should be open to helping people.”

The measure is modelled on Oregon’s law and that state’s statistics are intriguing. In 2015, 218 people were prescribed the recommended lethal medications, up from 155 the year before.

If Colorado voters approve the procedure, they would join Oregon, Washington, Vermont and California. Some argue that Montana has also approved it by way of a court ruling protecting doctors who assist dying patients from prosecution.

Predictably, the measure has its detractors as well but the stance of the Colorado Medical Society resonated with me. Society President-elect Dr. Katie Lozano called the proposal “the most personal of decisions that must be left to our patients”.

Given that Generation Law works with its clients to ensure they control their lives after retirement, an initiative like this is welcome, if grim, news. Certainly no one wants to be taken down by a terminal illness, but measure’s like Colorado’s go a long way to ensuring individuals have the choice to die with dignity.

If you would like to talk to us at Generation Law about estate planning, advanced directives, powers of attorney or wills, please get in touch.