In addition to the passage of ballot initiatives in six states on Election Day over legalization of marijuana use in some form, voters in Colorado also approved a measure to legalize assisted suicide.
Proposition 106 will allow terminally-ill patients with less than six-months to live the right to end their life with the assistance of medical personnel.
“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 Compassion & Choices Action Network President.
A contentious issue, the right-to-die bill passed over the objections of the Catholic Church and disability activists.
One such activist, Margaret Dore, head of Choice is an Illusion, opposed the measure on both moral and legal grounds. Specifying legal issues, Dore expressed concern over life expectancy:
“Prop. 106 seeks to legalize physician-assisted suicide, assisted suicide and euthanasia as those terms are traditionally defined. Prop. 106 is described as ‘aid in dying,’ but its reach is not limited to dying people. ‘Eligible’ persons may have years, even decades, to live.”
Expanding on her remarks over concern no provision was made to include witnesses such as physicians, a matter she referred to as a “perfect crime,” Dore said: “Even if the patient struggled, who would know?”
No federal law exists on euthanasia. The passage of Proposition 106 allows Colorado to join five other states, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California, and Montana, with right-to-die laws on state books.