Denver, Colo., Oct 1, 2016 / 15:02 pm
Voters in Colorado will decide whether to legalize assisted suicide in their state in November, after a campaign gathered enough signatures to put the proposal on the ballot, Proposition 106.
If passed, the measure known as the Colorado End-of-Life Options Act would allow for someone with a terminal illness to request a lethal prescription from their physician. The person must be at least 18 years old, deemed mentally competent, and have a diagnosis from two physicians of six months or fewer to live. The measure also requires that they self-administer the drug, called secobarbital, which is also used for lethal injections in some states.
But these safeguards are not enough to keep Coloradans safe from coercion and error, argues Carri Ann Lucas, an attorney and board member for Not Dead Yet, a disability rights group that advocates against assisted suicide measures.
“Nobody wants themselves or their family members to suffer, but they haven’t thought through all of the policy implications of a decision like this, and passing a measure like this,” Lucas said.