Morality and Personal Stories Define the Fight for Proposition 106



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Matt Larson is in his mid-thirties and already concerned about what will happen at the end of his life. A year ago, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. It was treated, but there’s a 50 percent chance it could return. If it does, he wonders at what point he would want to die. In November, Colorado voters will decide whether terminally-ill patients can legally end their lives.

That’s an option that Larson, of Denver, wants. He said his cancer “could recur a year from now or it could recur 15 years from now.”

“Realistically at that point, my odds of survival are very low,” Larson said.

Proposition 106 would allow people with six months or less to live to end their lives with prescription drugs. Approval from two doctors would be required and the patient must be mentally competent. Additionally, the patient must be able to self-administer the drugs. That means that someone with an illness that affects their ability to take the drugs could not take their own life if the proposal becomes law.

Opponents argue there are too few safeguards in place.

“We’ve all heard of issues where somebody has been diagnosed with six months and they’ve gone on to live two years, four years, even 10 years,” said Peggi O’Keefe with the “No Assisted Suicide Colorado” campaign.

Others are against it for religious reasons. In 2012, religious organizations helped defeat a similar proposal in Massachusetts. Sen. Kevin Lundberg, a Berthoud Republican, opposed “death with dignity” measures in the Colorado legislature in recent years.

“This promotes a notion that it’s better to be dead, and I don’t believe we as humans have that moral authority,” he said.


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