As voters across the country head to polling centers to vote for both their preferred presidential candidate, there are a myriad of state and local issues be voted upon at the same time. One of the issues on the table for Colorado on Nov. 8 was the legalization of medically assisted suicide. Now that the votes are tallied, is euthanasia legal in Colorado? According to 9News Denver, Nevada has voted in favor of legalizing assisted death in the state, with final results coming in on Tuesday night.
Colorado's Proposition 106, the measure to legalize assisted suicide for terminally ill patients with fewer than six months less to live. Currently, aiding someone in ending their life is considered felony manslaughter in Colorado. Proposition 106 was modeled off of California's End Of Life Options Act, which was passed in 2015 and took effect this year. Colorado's Gov. John Hickenlooper said in September he would be supporting Proposition 106.
The political conversation surrounding euthanasia has always been complicated because of the heavy ethical and moral implications attached to legally ending a human life. While many people support a terminal patient's right to end their life at their own request, many others are uncomfortable with the prospect and oppose it. Moreover, there are others who are uneasy with the concept of a doctor ending a patient's life, since the subjective nature of a "mercy killing" could potentially be abused.
In Colorado, though, there have been clear signs of support for Proposition 106 — and not just from the state's governor. A Colorado Mesa University poll taken in September found 70 percent of voters supported the proposition. Just 22 percent somewhat or strongly opposed it. Also, according to Ballotpedia, Yes on Colorado End-of-Life Options has received double the donations as No on Prop 106.
Before Tuesday, five states had legalized assisted death: California, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Now, Colorado is the sixth state in the United States to legalize it as well.