Colorado, United States (Sputnik) – Colorado passed an assisted-suicide law, which will allow terminally-ill patients who have six or less months to live to legally purchase drugs that will end their lives.
Colorado is the sixth US state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. Proposition 109, also known as the End of Life Options Act, is modeled after Oregon’s Death with Dignity Law, and passed by a margin of two to one, according to Colorado’s local News9.
“This is a historic day for all Coloradans, and an especially tremendous victory for terminally ill adults who worry about horrific suffering in their final days,” said Barbara Coombs Lee, president of Denver-based group Compassion and Choices Action Network, who advocated for the law.
Physician-assisted suicide, often mixed up with euthanasia, is different in that the patient makes the decision and acts on their own, with doctors providing the means to terminate their own life. Euthanasia is defined as the process in which a caregiver administers the drugs to the patient, usually through a lethal injection.
While the issue has been debated since 1967, Oregon was the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide in 1997. Since that time, five other states — Washington, Montana, Vermont, California and now Colorado — have adopted similar legislation. In the rest of the country, physician-assisted suicide is still considered illegal, and can punished with long prison terms.