No on Physician- Assisted Suicide

By Jenny Kraska, Executive Director, Colorado Catholic Conference
Ballot proposals are always important policy questions for the State of Colorado. Too often, however, voters overlook them. Voters often will choose candidates for the offices at the top of the ticket and ignore issues that appear later on the ballot.

It is vitally important for voters to understand the significance of what ballot proposals would mean for the direction of our state and how important it is to vote on them – especially Proposition 106.

This November Colorado voters will be asked to vote on Proposition 106 to determine whether or not physician- assisted suicide should be legalized in this state. This is a poorly written proposal that invites abuse of the most vulnerable. To sanction the taking of innocent human life is to contradict a primary purpose of law in an ordered society. This law would be bad for patients, bad for doctors, bad for families and bad for Colorado.


Proposition 106 would allow physicians to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to patients with a terminal diagnosis to allow them to commit suicide. Voters will only view the title of this proposal on the ballot, and not see the 11 pages of text that make up this initiative. Proposition 106 is a reckless proposal riddled with flaws which include the following:

• It interferes with the private doctor/patient/family relationship.
• It does not require notification of loved ones.
• It prohibits medical examiners from performing autopsies.
• It is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer.
• It allows persons to doctor-shop for a physician who will grant their lethal request.
• It requires doctors and coroners to lie on a death certificate by stating that the patient’s cause of death was a terminal illness rather than a lethal overdose.
• The prescription could be picked up at a local pharmacy or mailed to a home.
• It provides no means for any type of oversight or accountability.
• It would lead to coercion of the elderly, disabled and minorities.
• It will lead to patients with lingering illnesses being branded as economic liabilities and decisions to encourage death will be driven by cost.