(Denver, CO – May 9, 2016) Compassion & Choices Action Network today pledged to support a citizen-led ballot measure—Initiative #145—to authorize a medical aid in dying option for eligible, terminally ill Coloradans.
The Colorado End of Life Options Act, a statutory measure, would allow a mentally capable, terminally ill adult to request aid-in-dying medication from their physician that the person can self-administer to shorten a dying process that becomes unbearable. To be eligible, the person must also be a Colorado resident and have six months or less to live as confirmed by two physicians.
Colorado proponents Julie Selsberg and Jaren Ducker filed the initiative shortly after the Colorado legislature failed to pass this option for a second time, in spite of multiple public polls showing overwhelming support for the measure. Julie Selsberg was at her father’s side as he slowly died from Lou Gehrig’s disease and helped him write an open letter to Colorado lawmakers asking them to authorize medical aid in dying.
The Compassion & Choices Action Network, a national nonprofit founded in Denver that together with its affiliates has over 450,000 supporters, will provide financial resources and technical expertise to the Colorado campaign effort.
In endorsing The End of Life Options Act, Compassion & Choices Action Network President Barbara Coombs Lee issued the following statement:
“The Colorado End of Life Options Act is modeled after the law that has worked well in Oregon for the past 18 years. Julie Selsberg and Jaren Ducker are steadfast advocates for compassionate end-of-life options, and we are going to give them all the support we can.
“Terminally ill Coloradans should be able to make these deeply personal end-of-life decisions, together with their families, doctors and spiritual advisors. This includes the option to request medication from their doctor that they could take to shorten the dying process if suffering becomes unbearable. Coloradans want this option. And it is our hope that come November, their voices will prevail and Colorado will become the sixth state to include medical aid in dying among the authorized end-of-life options for terminally ill individuals.”