What’s Next For The Push For A Colorado End-Of-Life Options Law?

February 26, 2016
Colorado General Assembly

Another attempt in Colorado to allow terminally ill patients to take medication to end their own lives recently failed for the second straight year in the Democratic controlled House.

With strong words for opponents and members of their own party, the sponsors of the End-of-Life Options Bill, known as House Bill 16-1054 [.pdf], pulled it before debate could begin on the floor. The reason behind the withdrawal was a lack of votes and proposed amendments for the bill.

Highlights From Capitol Conversation

On The Bill Being Pulled By The Sponsors

Charles Ashby, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel: "They didn't want any changes to the bill. They've been working on this for the last two years and feel like they've written a perfect measure that has plenty of safeguards yet still dignifies the people who want to do this, but they were going to be faced with all these different amendments to win some votes."

Joey Bunch, The Denver Post: "There was a lot of passion on both sides and to just pull the rug out from under it I think was a failure of the system. You know the first lesson of politics is math, and I would have to give the legislators who worked on this a D for not knowing where their votes were."

What's Next?

Bunch: "We're going to see some ballot measures come out of this. When Rep. [Lois] Court (D-Denver) pulled the measure she told the legislators they were going to pay a price for this, so now we're going to go to the ballot and legislators are going to be on record even though they tried not to be."

Ashby: "This bill is modeled after what they've done in Oregon for what 19 years now. And they say it's not had any problems. Some of the opponents say there have been problems with it. But they want a tried, tested, true, ballot proposal that is going to work."

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