(The Pueblo Chieftain) – Colorado on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a proposition to allow terminally ill people to end their own lives, becoming the fifth state to allow medically assisted suicide.
Proposition 106 requires that a mentally competent patient have a six-month prognosis and get two doctors to approve requests for life-ending medication. It requires doctors to discuss alternatives with the patient as well as safe storage, tracking and disposal of lethal drugs, recognizing that a patient can change his or her mind.
Proponents sought a statutory law rather than a constitutional amendment on Tuesday’s ballot so lawmakers can make any necessary adjustments. They also went to the voters after legislative supporters, including Democratic Rep. Lois Court of Denver, could not muster enough Democratic or Republican votes to pass a measure.
Oregon, Washington, Vermont and California also offer medically assisted suicide. Montana’s state Supreme Court has ruled that doctors can use a patient’s request for life-ending medication as a defense against any criminal charges linked to the death. CONTINUE