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HomeLocalColorado State LegislatureFast facts about Proposition 106: Physician-assisted suicide

Fast facts about Proposition 106: Physician-assisted suicide

Proposition 106 on the November ballot seeks to legalize physician-assisted suicide in Colorado. Here’s what you need to know about this dangerous initiative, which the Colorado bishops have called “illogical” and “flawed.”

Euphemistically titled “Medical Aid in Dying” on the ballot, Proposition 106 would allow any “mentally capable” adult Coloradan with a terminal illness and a prognosis of six months or less to live, to get a prescription from a doctor for medication to commit suicide. The Colorado Catholic Conference, the state-level public policy arm of the Church, urges Catholics to vote no on this measure for the following reasons.

Immoral

Catholic teaching prohibits suicide as going against God’s commandment to not kill.

Illogical

The Colorado bishops call Proposition 106 “illogical” because Colorado has the seventh highest suicide rate in the nation, which led lawmakers to found a suicide prevention commission in 2014 and a state office this year to implement a “zero suicide” plan. The bishops wrote: “it is illogical for the state to promote and/or facilitate suicide for one group of persons — calling the suicides of those with a terminal illness and a specific prognosis ‘dignified and humane,’ while recognizing suicide as a serious statewide public health concern in all other circumstances, and spending enormous resources to combat it.”

Flawed

No medical help: Although called “Medical Aid in Dying” the only aid a medical professional provides in this measure is the prescription, as the patient must self-administer the deadly medicine—and no medical professional is required to be there when the patient passes.

Prognosis error: A Johns Hopkins University study found that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Archbishop Samuel Aquila noted in column: “Proposition 106 must be opposed because it will open the door for people … to kill themselves based off of guesses made by doctors that are often wrong. Having assisted suicide in our state will also create a culture that discourages advances in compassionate palliative and hospice care, and crucially, it will shorten the window for God’s grace to act as people prepare to meet their maker.”

No expert opinion: although the measure says a person has to be mentally competent to get the prescription, any doctor can determine that competence—there is no requirement that it must be a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Falsifies cause of death: Proposition 106 mandates that physicians or coroners lie on the death certificate and say that the person died of the disease from which they were suffering.

Inform yourself about the dangers of Proposition 106 by attending one of these events:

October 10, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Theology on Tap – Fatally Flawed: Assisted Suicide and Prop 106
The Irish Snug, 1201 E. Colfax Ave. #100, Denver

October 13, 6:30 pm
No on Prop 106 – Info Session
Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Parish, 11385 Grant Dr., Northglenn
(303) 452-2041

For more information about Proposition 106, visit archden.org/life

Roxanne King
Roxanne King is the former editor of the Denver Catholic Register and a freelance writer in the Denver area.
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