Colorado

2016 Colorado Initiative 145 (appeared on ballot as Proposition 106)

COLORADO PASSES DOCTOR-PRESCRIBED SUICIDE LAW. (November 8, 2016) For analysis of what that law permits, see Analysis of Proposition 106

“After Colorado, ‘Right To Die’ Movement Eyes New Battlegrounds”
(Kaiser Health News — November 9, 2016)
Diane Coleman, president of a national disability advocacy group called Not Dead Yet, said [such] laws create a dangerous financial dynamic in which insurance companies may deny expensive treatments but cover lethal drugs.  “Will insurers do the right thing or the cheap thing?” she asked.

Denver Post editorial takes position opposing doctor-prescribed suicide measure.
“No on Proposition 106: Aid-in dying measure lacks proper safeguards”
(Denver Post — October 11, 2016)
The Denver Post editorial board has in the past supported proposed legislation that would have allowed doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to patients with six months or less to live. We came down on the side of personal liberty before the bill failed in 2015….
In the end, despite our desire to support an individual’s right to make this decision, we cannot support a law that would so easily open an irreversible door.

“Fact check: John Hickenlooper stumbles over details on aid-in-dying measure”
(Denver Post — September 15, 2016)
The governor’s assertion that patients [in Oregon and Washington] apply for a Death with Dignity prescription primarily because they are in extreme pain is not accurate….[H]is assessment of the number of patients who ingest the lethal medication and the grounds cited for taking the medication are wide of the mark.

Doctor-prescribed suicide advocates collected 160,000 signatures to place Initiative 145, titled the “Colorado End-of-Life Options Act” on the November 2016 ballot. The measure will appear on the ballot as Proposition 106.
(98,072 valid voter signatures were required.)
According to campaign finance records filed with the Secretary of State, doctor-prescribed suicide activists paid $344,000 to a national company that gathers campaign signatures.
Text of Initiative 145 (Proposition 106)
Analysis of Initiative 145 (Proposition 106)

2016 Doctor-Prescribed Suicide Bills
Senate Bill 16-025
Text of bill
The bill failed to pass

The 2016 Colorado general election ballot could have two voter initiatives regarding assisted suicide or administered death. (April 8, 2016)

One proposal (#100) would amend the Colorado constitution to permit “Medical Aid in Dying” which is defined as the application of, and the support of the application of, a medical protocol that is lethal.
It specifically rules out assisting another to die by hanging or asphyxiation.
Text of 2015-2016 #100

The second proposal (#124), the “Colorado End-of-Life Options Act,” is loosely patterned after Oregon’s doctor-prescribed suicide law.
Text of 2015-2016 #124

Proposed ballot measure to be heard in Colorado
(September 9, 2015)
The proposed constitutional amendment (Amendment Number 2016#34) would legalize “medical aid in dying” and, if passed, would enshrine death on demand for any reason as a constitutional right.
Analysis of ballot measure

2015
A doctor-prescribed suicide bill, HB 15-1135, titled the “Colorado Death with Dignity Act” was introduced in Colorado but failed to get out of Committee.
Text of HB 15-1135
Analysis of HB 15-1135
On February 6, 2015, a committee defeated the measure citing the bill’s lack of safeguards and inability to prevent abuse.

Articles

“Fact check: John Hickenlooper stumbles over details on aid-in-dying measure”
(Denver Post — September 15, 2016)
The governor’s assertion that patients [in Oregon and Washington] apply for a Death with Dignity prescription primarily because they are in extreme pain is not accurate….[H]is assessment of the number of patients who ingest the lethal medication and the grounds cited for taking the medication are wide of the mark.

“Why 9News uses the words assisted ‘suicide'”
(KUSA 9News, Denver Colorado — August 17, 2016)
This November, you’re going to get to vote on an assisted suicide law in Colorado.  Supporters of that law have asked 9News not to call it assisted “suicide.” They’d rather call it “medical aid in dying.”…. We have a duty to tell you about it in simple, direct language.  That’s why we are not going to stop using the word “suicide.”

“Assisted suicide initiative makes Colorado ballot”
(Colorado Springs Gazette — August 15, 2016)
An initiative allowing doctors to give lethal drugs to terminally ill patient has made the November ballot, Colorado’s Secretary of State announced Monday.
Yes on Colorado End-of-Life Options spent $2.9 million to reserve TV ad time, campaign finance records show. It also paid a national company another $344,000 to help gather signatures.

“Colorado End-of-Life Options Bill Is Pulled At the Capitol”
(KVNF Radio — February 24. 2016)
A bill that would have allowed terminally ill patients to take medication to end their own lives has failed in the Colorado legislature. The main sponsors asked lawmakers to defeat the bill before it could be debated by the full House.

“Letter: Physician-assisted suicide a bad move for Colorado”
(Coloradoan — February 4, 2016)
As a  physician, I am also concerned that the bill would give government and profit-driven health insurance programs the opportunity to cut costs by denying payment for more expensive treatments while approving payment for less costly assisted-suicide deaths.

“Grand County’s only hospice closes”
(9news — January 6, 2016)
Two days ago, Grand County’s only hospice program, Heart of the Mountains, closed due to lack of funds…. Along with the county’s hospice program, the Grand County Commissioners voted Wednesday to close their health care program, which sends nurses to homes to help with rehabilitation or other long term medical issues.
More on hospice

“Letter: Colo. shouldn’t legalize assisted suicide”
Response to Sept. 10 article regarding taxpayer-funded “end of life” play.
(Coloradoan — September 24, 2015)
Notice that Ronald Halperin, the professional speaker who goes around the country promoting assisted suicide laws, is the first panel member listed.  Why is there no equivalent panel member on the opposite side, perhaps someone from The Patients Rights Council?

“Critic: Play uses public funding, promotes political agenda”
(Coloradoan — September 10, 2015)
A play, The Outgoing Tide,” that addresses “end of life” suicide is using taxpayer dollars to promote a political or moral agenda, says one Fort Collins resident who asked the city to pull its funding.  It is being performed in memory of Charlie Hatchette, a Fort Collins doctor who advocated for a death with dignity law.

Post-show discussions, will feature proponents of assisted suicide including the sponsor of a failed “death with dignity” bill and a representative of Compassion & Choices (formerly called the Hemlock Society

“Ginal plans to re-introduce right-to-die bill”
(Coloradoan — February 7, 2015)
Even though her right-to-die legislation failed in a House vote Friday night, Rep. Joann Ginal said she plans to bring it back next session….”I was very optimistic about getting it out of committee,” Ginal said.  “But 12 hours of testimony swayed some of our Democrats.”

“Colorado Rejects Right-to-Die Legislation”
(ABC News — February 7, 2015)
A House committee considering the bill voted 8-5….

“Making lethal, legal”
(Colorado Springs Independent — February 4, 2015)
Carrie Lucas, a juvenile and disability rights attorney who lives in Windsor, is among the opponents.  Lucas has muscular dystrophy that began shutting down her muscle function in her teens.  Now 43, she is a quadriplegic who needs a ventilator to breathe.  Since her disease is terminal, and without assistance she would be within hours of death, Lucas says she’d qualify for assisted suicide under HB 15-1135.