Right-to-die campaign in Colorado gets support from high profile case

Right-to-die ads begin airing in Denver
Posted at 6:29 PM, Sep 27, 2016

DENVER -- On Election Day in November, Colorado voters will decide if the state should enact legislation allowing some terminally-ill people to die by taking medication prescribed by a physician. The measure is known as Proposition 106.

Similar legislation is already in place in Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont and California.

The effort here in Colorado is getting high-profile support.

Dan Diaz may not be a household name, but you may recognize his wife, Brittany Maynard.            

She had a terminal brain tumor and wanted to end her life, so she left California and moved to Oregon to take advantage of its Death with Dignity Act.

It lets terminally ill people end their life with medication prescribed by a doctor.  The patient decides when to take it.

"I miss my wife every day.  There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of her," said Diaz.  "That decision is one that only be made between that patient working with their physician [and] with their own spiritual leader."

Maynard, who has since died, is now part a TV commercial supporting Proposition 106.  

"This is simply a medical program that affords an individual the option of a gentle passing.  That's it," he said.  

In Oregon, 859 people have died under the law since 1998.

Yet critics say the law encourages suicide in general, adding it needs more specific safeguards.

"We don't typically vote on issues that are about life and death.  This is a serious issues and for folks who might be supportive of a concept.  This isn't the right solution.  It's fatally flawed," said anti-106 spokeswoman Peggi O’Keefe.

If Colorado voters approve it, anyone wanting to die would have to prove they are medically ill, with less than 6 months to live. Only adults are eligible and you would have to take the medication on your own.


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