Denver Post editorial board urges “No” to assisted suicide proposal

Denver Post, 11 October 2016

In November Colorado will vote on Proposition 106 which would legalise assisted suicide in a similar way to Oregon.

The Denver Post editorial board has decided “After a lot of soul-searching, we are asking voters to reject Proposition 106, a measure that would give patients the legal right to end their life, because we fear the cultural, legal and medical shift that it would create in Colorado.”

Those facing their final months are in a vulnerable place, a time when an individual is susceptible to pressures both subtle and overt, susceptible to self-imposed guilt over burdening family and worries about spending hard-earned savings on care. Such patients also are susceptible to depression and its dark influences on decision-making.

Proposition 106 would entice insurers to drop expensive treatments for terminal patients even when medical advances might add months or years more to a life that a patient may wish to take.

Under Proposition 106, the burden of counseling patients about suicide rests on the shoulders of the doctor who would be prescribing the fatal drug.

We don’t have unfettered faith in all doctors’ ability to handle that responsibility.

We worry that the top reasons physicians give for a patient ending a life are easily influenced by those around them and by the care they receive in their final days.

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.

Click here to read the full editorial.