Denver, Colo., Jan 20, 2016 / 16:47 pm
One year after a similar effort was defeated, the Colorado legislature will revisit proposals to legalize assisted suicide, with opponents warning against creating incentives for people to kill themselves.
“If this legislation becomes law, it will place the lives of the vulnerable in the hands of an insurance and health care industry whose profit-driven culture would incentivize doctors to prescribe death,” Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila said in a video.
“These bills are not good for us, because they make it easier for people with bad intentions to prey upon the disabled.”
The archbishop added an even stronger warning: “The moral aspects of this debate are very clear: God has taught us not to kill. And that includes killing ourselves.”
House Bill 1054 – along with a companion Senate bill – in the 2016 Colorado legislature would legalize assisted suicide in the name of “aid-in-dying.” The House bill, titled the Colorado End-of-life Options Act, will be a subject of a Feb. 4 hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.
The legislation would allow a Colorado resident who is terminally ill to request an “aid-in-dying” prescription from his or her attending doctor in order “to hasten the individual’s death.” The doctor may write the prescription if at least two health care providers say the individual is capable of making an informed decision.
The bill includes a form request for medication “to end my life in a humane and dignified manner.”
If passed into law, the legislation would grants immunity to participants in assisted suicide from civil and criminal liability and from professional discipline. The bill says that actions in accord with the act will not constitute suicide, assisted suicide, mercy killing, homicide or elder abuse. The bill would make it a felony to coerce someone or exert “undue influence” to secure an aid-in-dying request.