Letter: Choices in dying
The Colorado End-of-Life Options Act is Proposition 106 on this fall’s ballot, and registered voters in Colorado will decide whether physicians will be allowed to provide medical aid in dying. I feel quite strongly about having end-of-life choices, and Proposition 106 describes a narrow set of circumstances that would give terminally ill, mentally capable adults the choice to access medication that would shorten the dying process if suffering becomes unbearable.
This standard has been used successfully in Oregon since 1998, and the Colorado End-of-Life Options Act is modeled after the Oregon law. Fewer than 1,600 people have opted to begin the process there, and fewer than 1,000 have completed it since the law went into effect in 1998.
Although I hope I never have to consider the option of medical aid in dying, it would bring me tremendous peace of mind to know that it was available. A “yes” vote supports giving terminally ill people the option to decide for themselves.
In September, the Board of the Colorado Medical Society voted to take a neutral public stance on end-of-life assistance as proposed in Proposition 106. The decision was made in consultation with the society’s appointed Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. A statewide survey of their members (medical professionals) showed that members support giving patients and their doctors control over end-of-life decisions.
All registered Colorado voters should receive a mail ballot during the week of Oct. 17. Return your ballot by U.S. mail or go to a ballot drop-off location. If you want to vote in person on Nov. 8, you can go to a voter service and polling center. Go to http://www.mycoloradovote.org for details and locations.
If you (or anyone you know) want to: 1) help with an education campaign in the area, or 2) donate to the Yes! Colorado End of Life Options Act campaign, please go to the Proposition 106 website at http://www.coendoflifeoptions.org or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-989-8987 as soon as possible. Let’s make Colorado the sixth state to authorize medical aid in dying.