Should We Have a Choice At the End of Life?
The right to die is one of the most divisive issues in society, and in this election, Colorado voters are going to affect the lives - and deaths - of many Coloradoans for years to come. At the end of life, should we have a choice? Should a terminally ill person have the right to end their own life? Perhaps, more critically is the question, should doctors have a role in the intentional termination of life? That's what Proposition 106 is all about.
Some would argue that doctors should not be involved, citing the Hippocratic oath. However, one version of the oath states in part ... "But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God."
Some people say doctors should only work to heal and restore, not cause demise.
Another argument against Proposition 106, the End of Life Options Act, is that doctors may not be able to accurately predict the life expectancy of a dying patient, or judge correctly a person's frame of mine - both of which are provisions in the proposition. Others might cite religious concerns about what amounts to suicide.
Those in favor of Proposition 106 would argue that terminally ill people who worry about losing autonomy and dignity and dreadful suffering, could receive peace of mind through knowing they have the option of dying peacefully and gracefully. When facing a most certain horrible and painful death, a person should get to choose how to go out. There are protections built into the proposition to ensure there is not
There are protections built into the proposition to ensure there is not a misuse of the law or criminal activity.
A number of states have rejected similar proposals through the years, while Oregon passed a right to die measure in 1994 and Washington gave approval in 2008.
And so we ask the question to you. At the end of life, whose choice is it? Should there be a choice to voluntarily end your life if your prognosis for living is inside of six months? Should death be left to fate, chance, and the natural course of events? Do we have a choice?