'Death with Dignity' To Be Debated At The Colorado Legislature

Feb 3, 2015
Originally published on February 27, 2015 3:15 pm

Democratic lawmakers in Colorado recently introduced a measure to allow terminally ill patients to take medication to end their lives. The patients must be given a prognosis from two different physicians giving them less than six months to live.

It's a charged issue that has many questions to it. Why do supporters say it’s the compassionate choice? Who strongly opposes it?

For thoughts on the debate over the bill, known as House Bill 15-1135 [.pdf], we turned to statehouse reporters Ivan Moreno, of The Associated Press and Charles Ashby, of Grand Junction's The Daily Sentinel.

On Precautions in Place

Ivan Moreno, The Associated Press

"Someone who wants to take advantage of this option needs to have two doctors signing off on it. They have to be determined to be mentally competent. And they have to make a verbal and written request. They also have to be able to administer this doctor prescribed mediation on their own, so it’s not the doctor doing it."

Charles Ashby, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

"I’ve talked to patients who have known they were going to die and they can’t get anything, and they horded morphine to self take. The point is some patients actually do want this."

On The Opposition

Ivan Moreno, The Associated Press

"Religious groups oppose this because they see it as taking away someone’s hope, they argue that sometimes it’s just impossible to know when someone who looks terminally ill, miracles happen. They view life as being sacred from the beginning until the end."

Charles Ashby, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

"Doctors have said that it’s opposite of their normal philosophy of do no harm. And it’s almost a total reversal giving patients something to kill themselves."

Read More: This is also a debate that has played out in how the media discusses it: Is it "death with dignity" or "assisted suicide?"

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