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Capitol Conversation: Physician Assisted Suicide

Posted: February 2, 2015 at 8:39 am by , in Capitol Coverage, Featured

Democratic lawmakers in Colorado recently introduced a measure to allow terminally ill patients to take medication to end their lives. The patients must be given a prognosis from two different physicians giving them less than 6 months to live. Bente Birkeland discusses the proposal as part of our capitol conversation series.

 

 

Democratic lawmakers in Colorado recently introduced a measure to allow terminally ill patients to take medication to end their lives. The patients must be given a prognosis from two different physicians giving them less than six months to live.

Why do supporters say it’s the compassionate choice?

Who strongly opposes it?

Bente Birkeland discusses the proposal with statehouse reporters.

Precautions in Place
Ivan Moreno with the Associated Press
“Someone who wants to take advantage of this option needs to have two doctors signing off on it. They have to be determined to be mentally competent. And they have to make a verbal and written request. They also have to be able to administer this doctor prescribed mediation on their own, so it’s not the doctor doing it.”

Charles Ashby with the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
“I’ve talked to patients who have known they were going to die and they can’t get anything, and they horded morphine to self take. The point is some patients actually do want this.”

Opposition

Ivan Moreno with the Associated Press
“Religious groups oppose this because they see it as taking away someone’s hope, they argue that sometimes it’s just impossible to know when someone who looks terminally ill, miracles happen. They view life as being sacred from the beginning until the end.”

Charles Ashby with the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

“Doctors have said that it’s opposite of their normal philosophy of do no harm. And it’s almost a total reversal giving patients something to kill themselves.”