“This is not euthanasia where somebody else ends a person’s life, it’s not mercy killing, it is not suicide.”
Ray Hockedy, chair of Compassion and Choices Boulder says his organization prefers to use the term Aid In Dying and not Assisted Suicide for a bill that they’re hoping will go before the Colorado legislature in 2016. “Aid In Dying is a method where an individual at the end of life, if that individual is suffering and meets the requirements of the bill that will be put forth, that a doctor can write a prescription to help that person end their life earlier than their underlying disease would take them.”
Hockedy says that naming the legislation Aid In Dying seeks to clarify the intent of the bill “this is not euthanasia where somebody else ends a person’s life, it’s not mercy killing, it is not suicide.”
Previous attempts to get similar legislation passed have failed in Colorado, most recently in 2015 with the failure of the Death with Dignity bill. Hockedy says the Aid In Dying legislation is different from past attempts “what makes this bill different is we’ve added a few other safe guards into the bill so that people have full protection. This is not something that will in any way be used arbitrarily. We have 17 years of history from the state of Oregon…there has not been one documented case of abuse there.”
Oregon, Washington, Vermont, California and Montana currently have some type of Aid in Dying legislation, Hockedy and other Compassion and Choices activists hope Colorado will join those other states.
Compassion and Choices is facilitating a day of citizen activism around the state on Wednesday December 2nd to educate people on Aid In Dying legislation.
In Boulder at 2pm at the Boulder Creek Room in the public library on Arapahoe.
In Denver at the Colorado History Museum.
Find out more here.