Euthanasia Advocates Celebrate Victory In Colorado

Opponents say assisted-suicide measure puts vulnerable patients at risk.

Coloradans voted to legalize physician-assisted suicide on Nov. 8, a decision critics call a “dangerous step for Colorado’s medically and socially vulnerable citizens.” Nearly 65 percent of voters said “yes” to the measure with almost all votes counted the next morning. The controversial initiative will allow terminally ill adults with six months or less to live the right to access a physician-prescribed lethal drug.

 

Coloradans voted to legalize physician-assisted suicide on Nov. 8, a decision critics call a “dangerous step for Colorado’s medically and socially vulnerable citizens.” Nearly 65 percent of voters said “yes” to the measure with almost all votes counted the next morning. The controversial initiative will allow terminally ill adults with six months or less to live the right to access a physician-prescribed lethal drug.

Colorado joins Oregon, California, Montana, Vermont, and Washington in legalizing assisted suicide. All six states modeled their measures after Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, passed in 1997. Advocates, backed by Denver-based Compassion & Choices, the nation’s largest pro-assisted suicide advocacy group, raised over $5 million, more than double the money raised by opponents.

“This is a historic day for all Coloradans, and an especially tremendous victory for terminally ill adults who worry about horrific suffering in their final days,” said Barbara Coombs Lee, president of the Compassion & Choices Action Network.

But critics say the trend toward assisted suicide is nothing to celebrate.

“[Proposition 106] legalizes state-sanctioned suicide and this fatally flawed measure opens the door for abuse of patients,” Carrie Gordon Earll, vice president for government and public policy at Focus on the Family, told me. “We know from other states where this is legal that patients have been denied treatment but offered suicide pills instead.  It was our hope that voters would reject such a risky measure but sadly that did not happen.”

Earll said Coloradans must now guard against abuses: “In a profit-driven healthcare climate, it will now be necessary for Colorado citizens to pay even closer attention to their loved ones and redouble efforts to provide quality care at the end of life.”

After last night’s victory, Compassion & Choices plans to push its lethal agenda in other states, with the goal of legalizing assisted suicide in all 50 states.

Proposition 106 was one of nine voter initiatives on the Colorado ballot yesterday. As expected, Coloradans said a strong “no” to universal healthcare, with about 80 percent voting against the amendment to create a single-payer healthcare system funded by an annual $25 billion tax increase.

“We’re grateful to the people of Colorado for carefully considering Amendment 69 and voting overwhelmingly against a measure that was clearly risky, untested, and fiscally irresponsible,” said Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and chair of the opposition group, according to 9News.

But supporters say they are not giving up and plan to try again another year.

“We learned a lot,” said T.R. Reid, an author of the amendment, according to the Denver Post. “And we’ll definitely be better next time.”

Colorado also passed referendums to raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020, create an open presidential primary, and enact stricter signature and voter requirements for state amendments. A Denver initiative to allow marijuana consumption inside certain businesses—bars, cafes, and art galleries—was still too close to call on Wednesday morning.

© 2016 World News Service. Used with permission.