Letter: Terminally ill have rights, too | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Terminally ill have rights, too

As I hope you have heard, the secretary of state has confirmed that the Colorado End-of-Life Options Initiative is on the November ballot. The measure will be considered Nov. 8, when voters in Colorado will decide whether physicians will be allowed to prescribe drugs to provide terminally ill patients with “medical aid in dying.”

I feel quite strongly about having end-of-life choices, and this measure would allow terminally ill, mentally capable adults to access medication that would allow them to “shorten the dying process if suffering becomes unbearable,” according to the Yes! On Colorado End-of-Life Options campaign.

End-of-life decisions are very intimate and personal, and they are best left to dying people consulting with their families, their faith and their doctors. This measure takes government out of these personal decisions and allows patients to make their own choices about their lives based on their health, their families’ input, and their personal religious beliefs. This measure is about allowing people to make their own choices about their lives and their health care. Our laws should trust individuals to make their own end-of-life choices, even if they aren’t the same choices we would make for ourselves.

“We should respect the choice for those who want to end their suffering and be with family in their final days,” Julie Selsberg, whose father died slowly from Lou Gehrig’s disease, has been quoted as saying.

Now is the time for us to rally together to ensure this measure passes, for every supportive Coloradan who signed the petition and for every terminally ill Coloradan who has come forward to demand access to this option. We now know that we are officially on the ballot, and we have fewer than 70 days until Election Day. We need support now more than ever!

If you (or anyone you know) want to help with an education campaign in the area, or donate to the Yes! Colorado End of Life Options campaign, please go to the campaign website at http://www.coendoflifeoptions.org, contact me at randi.lowenthal@gmail.com or call 970-989-8987 as soon as possible. Let’s make Colorado the sixth state to authorize medical aid in dying!

Randi Lowenthal

Carbondale


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