Colorado became the sixth state to approve language allowing terminally ill patients to end their own lives thanks to approximately two-thirds of voters supporting Proposition 106, the Colorado End-of-Life Options Act (PDF).

Patients expected to die within six months would be allowed to self-administer aid in dying drugs to die voluntarily. Colorado’s law was largely modeled on Oregon’s “Death with Dignity” law that reached national attention when 29-year-old Brittany Maynard use that law to end her life in 2014. California passed a similar law in 2015, partly spurred by Maynard’s case. Maynard moved from California to Oregon to takes advance of Oregon’s law at the time.

Washington and Vermont also have aid-in-dying laws while Montana’s Supreme Court has legalized the practice. The District of Columbia could become the seventh jurisdiction where medical aid is authorized for terminally ill residents when the D.C. Council Nov. 15 passed the D.C. Death with Dignity Act. Congress must review the bill under D.C. law.

The Colorado Health Institute offers a look at this difficult policy question in a report issued in January 2016 (PDF).

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