Breaking down the controversy of Proposition 106

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The presidential election isn’t the only controversial thing we’ll all be voting on come November 8.

Proposition 106, the end of life options act, would allow certain people to get a prescription from their doctor that will help them commit suicide.

Only people over 18 who are diagnosed with a terminal illness with less than six months to live and are mentally competent to make an informed decision are eligible.

Five states currently have this law.

Some people said this proposition is about freedom for people already on death’s door to die on their own terms.

Others said it opens up a can of worms that will have unintended consequences.

Dr. Kristine Thompson said Proposition 106 boils down to the patients.

“People choosing an option to die want to have more choices and to die with dignity. They don’t want to die, but they’re already dying,” said Thompson.

Attorney Skip Morgan said it opens us up to unethical practices by insurance companies.

“Once you put that down as an option for the people paying for your medical care as an acceptable alternative, the coercion and the pressure is implicit in what happens afterwards,” said Morgan.

A patient would need two doctors to say they’re mentally competent before they can get this medication.

“Patients are given explicit instructions. They have to be able to take the medication themselves and the medications are prescribed at exactly the dose the patient needs,” said Thompson.

“There’s got to be a reason why the American Medical Association, American Cancer Society, has weighed against this,” said Morgan.

“The more choice we have, the more empowered people feel at whatever stage in life, but especially when they’re facing the end of life,” said Thompson.

“Once a society crosses that Rubicon and says some lives are not worth saving anymore, it’s hard to know where to stop that,” said Morgan.

If this proposition passes, work will begin to parse through the language of how the law will be implemented.

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