Disability rights activists protest against aid-in-dying measure


By Allen Tian

More than 20 activists for disability rights marched to the Secretary of State’s office to protest an aid-in-dying measure likely to end up on Colorado’s November ballot.

Holding signs that read: “Death does not cure anything,” “Give me liberty, Don’t give me death,” and “It’s not compassion, it’s contempt,” the protesters marched about 2.5 miles from the Atlantis Community Center to the Secretary of the State’s office. The march was led by a protester dressed as the ghost character from the movie, Scream.

The Colorado End-of-Life Options Act would allow mentally competent adult Colorado residents with a prognosis of six months or less to live to take life-ending drugs. Doctors would have to confirm the diagnosis and give such patients multiple opportunities to decline the drugs, which patients must self-administer.

Proponents of the measure last week delivered more than 160,000 signatures — well more than the number necessary to get on ballot — to the Secretary of State’s office. The office has 30 days to ensure that at least 98,492 signatures are valid. 

Disability rights groups ADAPT and Not Dead Yet, which led the protest, say the measure is too broad, lacks adequate safeguards, and risks exploiting the vulnerabilities of the disabled in a state that already has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation.

Protester Carrie Lucas, holding a sign reading, “Not Dead Yet,” joined the group in her electric wheelchair. “They have really put our lives at risk, ”she told The Independent.

Lucas, who has progressive muscular dystrophy, says she is particularly concerned with the definition of “terminally ill” in the measure. She says it could conceivably include someone with her condition. While she would have to request the life-ending drugs, she says the measure underscores her belief that while suicide is discouraged for most Americans, the disabled are somehow encouraged to view it as an option.

“That’s discriminatory because we deserve equal protection under the law,” she said.     


Photo by Allen Tian     


The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.


  1. I am one of those who absolutely wants to be in control of my last days. i do not want anyone in any position, not elected officials or ‘advocates for the disabled’ getting between me and my caregiver. it is my life plain and simple and nobody not anybody has the the right to intervene regardless the rationale as to why.

  2. The decision, like all personal decisions, is up to the individual. The right of an individual to decide is intrinsic to free will. This issue should not be another special interest, PC mau- mau agenda item.

  3. Colorado End of Life Options Act Final #145 Article 48 2016 provides no ordinary witness to the “self-administration of poison”.
    Even as the promoters have inundated us with their claim that the lethal dose “must be self-administered” and mentioned it 9 times in their 11 page bill Final #145 Article 48, they do not provide an ordinary witness to the act. That omission effectively eviscerates all of the so called safeguards. The process seems to be full of requirements on the front end up until the script is written. Then an heir can pick up the script and administer it without oversight. Know that only 2% of the doctors have attended these events in other states.
    Even the front end “requirements” have fatal flaws. A predatory heir may be a witness to the initial request along with a staff member of the facility. Does that sound like good public policy?
    The rest of the family is not required to be contacted. And everyone involved gets instant immunity. The death certificate is falsified by this law which makes it impossible to prosecute a murder when the death certificate states the underlying illness is the cause of death. There really is no transparent reason not to post poison as the cause.
    This bill Final #145 Article 48 provides that a predatory heir can facilitate the signup process, murder the individual and receive immunity all before the rest of the family is notified. This is nether reasonable nor prudent public policy. This is dangerous public policy that puts the entire population (all ages) at risk of exploitation by heirs, the medical-governmental-complex and organ/tissue traffickers.
    I encourage people to read the Oregon model bill before taking a, or expounding on their position. We will agree no matter our starting position that this bill Finale #145 Article 48 does not deliver, this is not the one.
    Respectfully submitted,
    Bradley Williams
    MTaas dot org

  4. Some Florida court officials and their allies with no inkling of common sense decency nor of professional integrity in my state are looking westward toward your state with baited breath and empty wallets. Why? They just pray that the clarion call of “individual determination in health care” works as well in Florida later on after millions of Coloradans have been bamboozled into voting for this sham. Here in Orlando the fact is death via crooked M.D.’s inside the hidden confines of small skilled nursing units and hospices is just no big deal (that’s how my own mother succumbed)…and the benefits of compromising one’s soul for the sake of cash kickbacks or Medicare-savings bonuses is practically aromatic. Do what you can for the sake of what’s left of higher human thoughts and aims to STOP this law in Colorado!

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