Colorado Prop 106: Right to Die

Posted on September 29, 2016 by

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The 2016 November election will make history with a presidential election unlike any other. In the midst of this presidential election circus people may have lost track of important local propositions that could have a large impact on people in Colorado.

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Proposition 106, Also known as The Colorado Options End-of-Life Options Act would allow people with terminally ill conditions to receive aid in dying. In order to be eligible these terminally ill patience must have a prognosis of six months or less to live, be considered mentally capable, and be able to administer the drug to themselves. If this measure passes people would then be able to go to the doctor and ask for a pill that has perviously been used as a sleep aid to put them peacefully to permanent rest. Under this act, people must be made fully aware of there other options such as palliative care, pain management, hospice, and comfort care. Doctors who are not obligated to make these prescriptions would then be able to prescribe this life ending pill for someone to then take home and (in no immediate rush) swallow. Proponents of this act say that these guide lines follow the clinical criteria set fourth by the Journal of Palliative Medicine as well as states such as: Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont and the newest of the five California. They believe this is a self, humane and dignified option for terminally ill patience to end their lives. For more of the facts on the Pro-Prop 106 check out their fact sheet online.

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Of course as in most cases there are many that oppose the passing of such life changing or should I say life ending measures. These opponents include religious based groups such as Focus on the Family, Colorado Christian University, and Archdiocese of Denver. I seems as if their main concern is that the states duty is to protect people not help them die. They site that the current proposal is dangerous because a doctor need not administer this lethal drug or even be present. Sending someone home with this pill could cause may unintended fatalities. These opponents would rather people access support systems already set in place like Hospice care or organizations like Life Matters.

When I first heard of this proposition I was under the impression that I would be more inclusive to the needs to elderly people who are suffering from conditions like alzheimer’s and dementia loosing dignity along the way. Personally, I just recently lost a Grandmother who in many ways has been gone for quite a while. Suffering from dementia she was lost in this world, confused, lonely, frustrated, and not able to care for her own basic needs. In the passing of this prop, she would not be eligible to end her life because of the mental competency piece written into it. My mother who holds power of attorney for her would not be able to advocate this choice for her either. This is one of any reasons I feel on the fence about Proposition 106. If you’d like more information on this topic the Denver Post has an article explaining what we need to know about this possible new option for people.

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