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Colorado approves assisted suicide proposition by huge margin

Proposition 106, also know as also known as Colorado End of Life Options Act or Initiative 145 passed with significant support.

The measure enables terminally ill patients to take life-ending medication when prescribed by a doctor. It passed through the legislature last April to receive a spot on the ballot.

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Election 2016 Watch Party Avogadro's Number - Brooke Buchan (2).jpg
Alonzo Botello watches the 2016 Presidential Election, as well as local elections around the country, unfold at Avogadro's Number Nov. 8, 2016. Photo credit: Brooke Buchan

The proposition passed with 65 percent support as of 10 p.m. Tuesday. At this time, 2 million votes in the state were counted.

Similar measures have been passed in four other states. Colorado’s measure would require patients to be mentally competent, have six months or less to live and be approved by two physicians. The patient is also required to give two oral requests separated by fifteen days and a provide a written request passing standards set forth in the bill.

On Colorado State University’s campus, many students voted for the proposition.

Freshman psychology major Rahma Jama shared that she voted for the measure. According to Jama, a patient’s decision to end their life comes down to consideration and personal choice.

“I think that when life gives more pain than progress and prosperity they have the right to that decision,” Jama said.

Other students decided to vote for the measure in the name of humanity.

“Why should anyone have to be put through a lengthy and painful death

that there’s no therapy for? That’s my question,” said Jeremy Sarnechy, senior microbiology major. “I don’t think there’s a good answer and the only person that’s going to tell you, ‘You don’t have the right to die,’ is someone that has a religious bias.”

The students’ sentiments echoed those of a national organization based in Colorado, Compassion & Choices, which raised $4.8 million for the proposition.

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Although many students expressed agreement with the measure, some find 106 to be an overreach.

“I voted no because I believe that everyone should have the right to live as long as they’re supposed to, and make sure that they take care of their own life even if they are deathly ill,” said Michaela Dietrich, a freshman human development and family studies major. “I think that God will choose their time to go.”

Like Dietrich, groups such as the Archdiocese of Denver, Colorado Christian University and Focus on the Family, opposed the measure. Theses groups all donated to the “No Assisted Suicide Campaign.”

Collegian reporter Tatiana Parafiniuk-Talesnick can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @TatianaSophiaPT@gmail.com.

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  • B

    Bradley WilliamsNov 9, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Welcome to the Oregon experience.
    Some doctors coerce patients. The following classic letter from an Oregonian is an example.
    “Dear Editor, 
    Hello from Oregon. 
    When my husband was seriously ill several years ago, I collapsed in a half-exhausted heap in a chair once I got him into the doctor’s office, relieved that we were going to get badly needed help (or so I thought). 
    To my surprise and horror, during the exam I overheard the doctor giving my husband a sales pitch for assisted suicide. ‘Think of what it will spare your wife, we need to think of her’ he said, as a clincher. 
    Now, if the doctor had wanted to say ‘I don’t see any way I can help you, knowing what I know, and having the skills I have’ that would have been one thing. If he’d wanted to opine that certain treatments weren’t worth it as far as he could see, that would be one thing. But he was tempting my husband to commit suicide. And that is something different. 
    I was indignant that the doctor was not only trying to decide what was best for David, but also what was supposedly best for me (without even consulting me, no less). 
    We got a different doctor, and David lived another five years or so. But after that nightmare in the first doctor’s office, and encounters with a ‘death with dignity’ inclined nurse, I was afraid to leave my husband alone again with doctors and nurses, for fear they’d morph from care providers to enemies, with no one around to stop them. 
    It’s not a good thing, wondering who you can trust in a hospital or clinic. I hope you are spared this in Hawaii. 
    Sincerely,
    Kathryn Judson, Oregon”

    Doctors are human too. My brother had a stroke that left his right arm useless and his speech impaired. He asked me to contact his doctor to explain that he did not need the antidepressants that the doctor had prescribed for him because he was not depressed. The doctor’s response was “Would not you be depressed in his condition?”
    We trust our doctors but we do not want to tempt them with the power to coerce their patients to cut short their life with legal assisted suicide.
    Colorado’s non transparent Prop 106 simply allows non voluntary euthanasia.

    Reply