Ad features Brittany Maynard who moved from California to Oregon to access aid in dying medication and avoid extreme suffering at the end of her life
Denver – The Yes on Colorado End-of-Life Options campaign today will start airing its first television ad to help educate Colorado voters about Proposition 106. The measure will allow terminally ill, mentally capable adults who are Colorado residents access medication that would allow them to shorten the dying process if suffering becomes unbearable.
Introducing the ad, Dan Diaz said, “As you may know, Brittany and I went to the extraordinary lengths of leaving our home in California and moved to Oregon in order for Brittany to have the option of a gentle passing afforded by medical aid in dying. We were fortunate to have the resources to relocate in order to ensure Brittany could make that personal decision. But many do not have the ability, financially or personally, to move to another state – nor should they have to do so. Coloradans deserve better.”
“We are so grateful to Dan Diaz and his willingness to share Brittany’s story with Colorado voters,” said Julie Selsberg, co-petitioner of the measure. “In Colorado we know that personal, intimate health care decisions are ours and ours alone – and that government should not dictate our choices or force us to leave our homes to go to a state where medical aid in dying is an option. “
Selsberg was at her father’s side as he slowly died from Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and helped him write an open letter to Colorado lawmakers asking them to authorize medical aid in dying.
Colorado would become the 6th state to authorize medical aid in dying. Research shows that an overwhelming majority of Coloradans believes there should aid in dying for those who want it. The Colorado Medical Society recently drop its opposition to the law.
The measure is modeled after Oregon legislation that has been in place for nearly 20 years without any proven instances of abuse or fraud. Like Oregon, the Colorado measure includes precautions to protect patients.
“The television ads in support of Proposition 106 are designed to help educate Colorado voters about the important safeguards included in the measure,” said Jess Grennan, campaign manager for Yes on Colorado End-of-Life Options. “Our campaign is bolstered by hundreds of people who have been willing to share their stories with us and now with Colorado voters. They are working with us to ensure that people can make their own choices about their end-of-life care based on their health, their family’s input, and their personal religious beliefs.”
To be eligible for a prescription for aid-in-dying medication under the Colorado End-of-Life Options Act people:
- Must be over 18
- Must be in the final stages of a terminal illness defined as six months or less to live, as confirmed by a second opinion
- Must be mentally capable (people with dementia or Alzheimer’s are ineligible)
- Must request and take the medicine by themselves (self-administer)
- Must make two oral requests separated by a 15-day waiting period. A third written request, signed by at least two witnesses, is also required.
For more information about the measure, the campaign and to see the television ad titled “Brittany” visit www.coendoflifeoptions.org
# # #
A note about medical aid in dying:
As the public hears more about end-of-life options, it is critical to accurately describe the medical option of terminally ill people to self-administer prescribed medicine to shorten a dying process they find unbearable. “Aid in dying” is the most neutral term to describe the option.
It is wrong to equate suicide, which about 30,000 Americans suffering from mental illness, tragically resort to each year. The aid in dying option is utilized by very few terminally ill, but mentally competent, screened and qualified adults. Eligible patients who choose aid in dying find the term “suicide” deeply offensive, stigmatizing and inaccurate.
The nation’s largest public health association, the American Public Health Association, supports aid in dying, recognizing that: “the term ‘suicide’ or ‘assisted suicide’ is inappropriate when discussing the choice of a mentally competent terminally ill patient to seek medications that he or she could consume to bring about a peaceful and dignified death.”