The Colorado End-of-Life Options Act (Prop 106) authorizes the medical practice of aid in dying. Medical aid in dying (also known as death with dignity) allows a terminally ill, mentally capable person who has a prognosis of six months or less to live to request, obtain and — if his or her suffering becomes unbearable — self-administer medication that brings about a peaceful death.

Coloradans overwhelmingly support the right to medical aid in dying. In a 2016 independent poll of likely voters, 65% said they supported similar legislation. Most people support aid in dying without knowing whether they would want to use the option because they don’t think it is right to deny the choice to others.

The strict criteria for eligibility under the Colorado End-of-Life Options Act (Prop 106) include these key requirements:

  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must be in the final stages of a diagnosed terminal illness, as confirmed by a second opinion
  • Must be medically determined to be mentally capable
  • Must self-administer the medication

Five states representing 16% of the U.S. population currently authorize medical aid in dying: California, Montana, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Oregon was the first to authorize in 1997, and in 19 years the law has proven effective as a compassionate end-of-life option for terminally ill adults. Prop 106 is modeled after Oregon’s medical aid in dying law.