Supporters of the “End of Life Options Act” in the Colorado legislature caved in to politics and moved the bill off the legislative calendar. The act was “…closely modeled after the Death with Dignity Act in Oregon, which has worked well for 17 years, without a documented case of abuse or coercion.” The proposed law would have allowed “…mentally capable, terminally ill adults the option to request a doctor’s prescription for medication they could take if their suffering becomes unbearable, to painlessly and peacefully die in their sleep.”
The failure of the Colorado legislature to act is a classic case of political special interests successfully trumping public opinion. A poll had indicated 68 percent of Coloradans wanted a right-to-die law, but it was not to be. Legislators who were inclined to support the bill were fearful that their support would be used against them in their quest to be re-elected. Thus we have the perfect example of what is wrong with our political system. Our elected officials were willing to put their political careers ahead of the will of the people.
Terminal illness does not discriminate. All of us will die, and some of us will die comfortably and peacefully. Others will die after experiencing extreme suffering. The actions by the Colorado legislators will require those who wish to make our own end of life decision to take a trip to Oregon.