Colorado voters approve aid in dying ballot measure

Colorado voters approve aid in dying ballot measure

Colorado citizens on Tuesday voted in favor of Proposition 106 [text, PDF], a state ballot proposition that gives terminally ill adult patients the right to self-administer lethal drugs after receiving approval from two physicians. The measure passed with a substantial majority, with over 65 percent of voters in favor. Under the new law, physicians are not legally compelled to provide approval, nor are they allowed to administer lethal drugs to patients.

Similar measures have passed in several other states. The Colorado ballot initiative is similar to previously passed measures, beginning in 1997 with the Oregon Death with Dignity Act [official materials]. The Oregon law was upheld [JURIST report] by the US Supreme Court in 2006. In 2008 the Montana First Judicial District ruled [JURIST report] that physicians cannot be prosecuted under state statutes for providing prescriptions for lethal drugs to terminally ill patients. Washington state also approved a similar lethal prescription ballot initiative in 2008, and the Vermont legislature approved legislation [JURIST reports] in 2013. In August the California Superior Court rejected a challenge [JURIST report] to the state’s recently enacted aid in dying law [text].