As a State Representative, I worked hard in two sessions to pass a bill to give terminally ill patients the option to end their lives with dignity, on their own terms. My efforts were unsuccessful (see below), but while running for the State Senate in 2016, I vowed to continue that fight in the Senate if need be. During the campaign I frequently spoke on behalf of a proposed statutory addition to the state constitution, the Colorado End-Of-Life Options Act. Fortunately, a majority of voters in Colorado also believed that this proposed statute should become the law of the land, and it was passed by a 65 to 35 percent margin.
The “End of Life Options For Persons With A Terminal Illness Act” would have allowed patients with a diagnosis of less than six months to live the option to take life-ending medication. Two physicians would need to approve the medicine, and the patient would need to be mentally competent to make the decision and self-administer the drug. Despite efforts to address issues raised about last year’s unsuccessful version of this legislation, and despite its having passed from the Judiciary Committee after 11 hours of testimony, State Representative Joann Ginal and I were forced to ask that the bill to be laid over–essentially killing it–because we simply did not have the requisite votes to pass.
The “Death with Dignity Act” allows individuals with a terminal illness to request, and self-administer life-ending medication from a physician under certain conditions. Lost in the House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee.
- Posted by Lois Court
- On February 25, 2016